I’m not sure this is a good thing to admit, but it’s a fact; over 20 years ago, when I began my career in sales, the only item on my desk was a telephone. We didn’t have computers or the internet. How did we locate potential clients? The owners leased a thick reference book that contained local business contact names and addresses. The book also cross-referenced companies by their products or services. It was a valuable tool.
There wasn’t much back then that you could use to hide behind…certainly not the telephone, unless you used it to call your mom or your friends. But then, you weren’t using your time wisely and management frowned upon socializing during work hours.
Of course today everything is different. Our research is now done on the computer and this is more efficient than the thick reference book. Or is it? The challenge now is focus. I can easily research on the computer but the internet is also full of fun and it’s very easy to get distracted and get caught up in the social aspect. Then, 30 minutes later I look up from my monitor and the time is gone.
So, who wouldn’t rather communicate with a friend? And, social media is just that. The really hard work in sales is reaching out to communicate with the people you don’t know, but then, wouldn’t that be called business media?