Real-world sales may start online, but the real connection and success happens offline, in the real world. Join me.

In our technology-obsessed world, we regularly hear new words and phrases—ones that someone made up and then created the definition. Words that are overused and mostly unexplained.

Here are a few, just for starters: Gamification, Web 3.0, Sales 2.0, Finger in the Wind, Facipulate, Wallet Share, Weighing the Pig, The Buyer’s Journey, Word-of-Mouse (give me a break…).

Get E-Quainted

I love Southwest Airlines and I love reading Spirit Magazine. Here is the Spirit Lexicon Entry #9,824:

“e-quaintance\e’kwanten (t)s\noun

  1. An electronic acquaintance
  2. A casual contact one interacts with only through online communication
  3. Akin to an interweb friend

Usage: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites have created a wide realm in which to make e-quaintances, who are often corralled to spread information or confided in to glean advice. In business, some seemingly insignificant cyber contacts can translate into real-world job prospects, or even (gasp!) an actual face-to-face meeting.”

(It can be overwhelming. Here’s how to attract sales prospects in a tech-focused world.)

Get Connected, Get Informed

Yes, you meet people online. Yes, buyers are well-informed before they ever talk to you. Yes, people do business without ever speaking. Yes, some buyers tell you they never want to talk to you. (Are they afraid of a sleazy sales pitch?)

Get In Touch

Here’s how the real world really works: It’s great to begin an online conversation and make acquaintances (or “e-quaintances”, in this case). However, unless you’re selling a commodity, nothing beats a personal conversation. Why? You ask great questions and uncover hidden issues. You may learn that what the prospect thought they needed is indeed not the case. If you sell software or financial services, you know exactly what I mean. (Selling is about paying attention throughout the entire sales process. Read, “Selling Is Never About Closing”.)  

E-quaintances only take you so far along the sales journey. Ensure that you and your sales prospect choose the same path. Don’t end the sale before it begins.

Let’s Get Acquainted

What are your greatest connection challenges? What works for you? Comment here and join the conversation.