Why is attracting new business in the digital age becoming so difficult

March 12, 2020

I’m often asked why I spend so much of my time meeting people, connecting with new businesses, networking and shaking hands. The simple answer, of course, is because people buy from people and as I commented to one person recently, 1 million years of evolution cannot be overtaken by 20 years of technology.

We are biological beings; we're built and wired to collaborate and work together. What does this mean for us in a digital world? A world where immediacy and urgency of information has become the norm?

In the mid 20th century Albert Mehrabian developed a model which suggested that human communication is made up of 7% of what we say, 38% of the way we say it and 55% of non-verbal communication...body language, eye contact etc.

In our digital world, email was the first platform to take away two of the three most important characteristics of human communication. That’s why an email can be so damaging and misunderstood, particularly when we trust we are saying one thing and what’s actually received is different.

I believe that we can extend Mehrabian’s model; so that what we say, the way we say it, and what we look like when we say something (non-verbal communication) becomes the key factors that influence our 'know, like and trust' process.

People buy from people if they know, like and trust them. I believe it’s exactly the same personally or in business.

Let’s apply this to the way we attract new business: I am convinced that if we only use words to try and attract new business, we are setting ourselves up for 93% more work to, in effect, close the business. Bad news for those that believe email selling is the answer. Just because you can, doesn’t mean to say you should.

What if we now add in ‘the way we say something’. We are now in a position where we only need to do 55% more work to close the business. In our digital world, a phone call is always better than an email or a text message because we are adding to the 'know, like and trust' process.

Why do you think audiobooks, podcasts and recorded conversations are becoming more popular? The answer is because we can connect at a basic biological level with the tone of voice and emotion in the language used.

Let’s add in the final element, the body language. I believe that if we truly want to engage and attract new business efficiently and effectively, we have a basic human need to visually connect with people. In our digital world, a video is a great tool. The same can be said for meeting people face-to-face, either individually or at networking events.

Our ability to communicate in the digital age, whether on social media, email or other electronic platforms, should not be seen as the answer, it should be seen as a new tool for us to embrace and use. Before the motorcar, we travelled by horse or walked, something many of us find difficult to comprehend. In the same way, as the motorcar changed the way we travel, the digital age is the new way we connect, but it can never replace the way that we are biologically wired to collaborate and ultimately choose to engage, know, like and trust each other, consolidate relationships, and buy from each other.

If you're looking for the answer on to how to build a better business, build a better life for yourself and those around you, here is the answer.

Tap into 1 million years of evolution to understand how we work as human beings. We should all use the tools available to us in the digital age, but they will never replace the relationships that we build, how we collaborate and help each other. That’s how we work.

Look out for part two next month where I will share what I’ve learned about relationship marketing in the digital world, and how you can do it & benefit from it, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *