Do you Text your Clients?

With tech-savvy business people shunning the phone and to some extent email, sales professionals no doubt feel like the moon and stars must be perfectly aligned to communicate with prospects and customers.

That’s why sales pros should take a closer look at texting. It’s efficient, discreet and offers a valid alternative when important information needs to be shared.

When you think about it, texting is truly a smart way to get your message in front of a client who tends not to respond to phone calls and emails for any number of reasons. In these situations, pinging them with a short text message increases the chance that – even if they don’t respond – they will receive the information. That’s because a text message is as non-intrusive and immediate as an email, but is distinct enough so that it doesn’t get lost in all the other bits of information bombarding today’s busy professionals.

I have also found texting to be useful in communicating with job candidates. A Players in particular are focused on their day-to-day sales activities and are unable (or unwilling) to break away to take a call or check their personal emails. Most also won’t use their business email address, for obvious reasons.

Texting let’s you reach them immediately and discreetly without distracting them from their business at hand. Checking and responding to text messages is an accepted fact of life today, so no one will think twice if your candidate multitasks by glancing at and replying to your message. And it’s quick enough that their concentration will not be taken away from their current task.

The key is to not abuse the privilege. Ask for permission to send the occasional text when information is urgent – and make sure your definition of “urgent” is in sync with theirs.  If they agree, keep your texts professional. They should be brief, but written with the same attention to grammar and punctuation as any business email.

Most importantly, they should be free of the abbreviations and shorthand that characterize personal texting.  TTYL and CM are not professional in any context.

Texting will never replace verbal communication with customers, nor should it. However, it is a great way to ensure important information is getting through when other traditional avenues fail.