Business is all about relationships. Professionals working in sales and marketing spend their entire careers developing relationships with prospects. Commercial relationships, like any relationship, needs to be built on a foundation of trust. Once upon a time, a handshake was the ultimate symbol of trust in business; however, that time may be slowly coming to an end. More and more commercial relationships are built solely online with a salesperson and their customers never meeting in person. This distance has put a wrench in things. Trust is now harder to develop, simply due to the distance brought upon by digital channels.
So what can marketers and salespeople do to continue to build relationships and develop trust through digital channels? At Veriday, we believe the answer lies into mastering your “digital handshake.”
What is a “digital handshake?” Well, it’s the process in which brands and professionals can develop trust through digital channels, usually social media. A digital handshake and a physical handshake have many similarities. Similarities include the fact that other parties will judge you on the “quality” of the handshake.
A good physical handshake will be firm, dry (no sweaty hands), and includes eye contact. What factors play a role in the quality of a digital handshake?
1. Authentic Digital Handshake
Your digital handshake needs to be authentic. Consumers are digitally savvy and will be able to tell if you are peddling half-truths or trying to hide your true self. Your messaging on social media, the design and overall “feel” of your website, and your communication tone should reflect your true self. Authenticity is a fundamental component of a digital handshake.
2. Omnichannel Digital Handshake
There is a difference in the handshake between people who are meeting for the first time and established, long-time colleagues. The stronger a relationship is, the more personal the handshake will feel.
The same thinking should apply to your digital handshake. You need a true omnichannel strategy to ensure that no matter how well an audience member knows you, no matter how close your relationship is, you can provide the correct response. Your digital handshake will be less trustworthy if you send the same cookie cutter, automated response to everyone, regardless of how many interactions you have had, what their request is, or the medium, you will turn off prospects because you will feel “too robotic.”
Your digital handshake needs to be able to follow people across various mediums to be truly effective.
3. Warm Digital Handshake
The final quality your digital handshake needs to have is lots of warmth. The tone of your messaging, the imagery you use, and the intimacy of your interactions will determine the warmth of your digital handshake. We’ve discussed it many times before, but warmth is one of the two most important factors in how your brand is perceived by your customers and prospects alike.
A high-quality digital handshake takes strategic thinking but will help you build relationships with potential customers through digital channels. At Veriday, we help brands undergo digital transformation and can help you develop websites, portals and other digital properties that will help develop relationships between your brand and your ideal customers. Contact us, if you need guidance in digitally transforming your business.