A recurring theme in a lot of my conversations now is that sales is the most important part of a business (still open for debate in my view). Along with sales comes the issue of dealing with people. A colleague of mine described this as the most challenging bit of anything they have ever done – also the most important.
“Solving their problem” is a motto I have taken on. People are busy and people are lazy. You need to convince your new customer/supplier that there is a benefit to them personally if they do what you are asking. You also need to make sure that all obstacles that they might fumble at are taken care of – make it easy for them. Their problem is they are lazy and so don’t want to do the trivial work; they are also busy so you need to make the reward worth forgoing whatever else they could do (like surfing Facebook).
Getting a hold of people is a tough first step – sometimes tougher than the task itself. I have some examples of how different people respond differently to different forms of communication.
My Dad can’t take phone calls as he is “mad busy”. However responding to an email is easy for him as he can narrate to a secretary at the end of the day.
A friend of mine was offered a deal by my Dad but only phoned him and so never got to accept the offer as he never got through. If he had just emailed then things could have been sorted. He has since admitted that he made a mistake by not emailing.
Sometimes people call me on blocked numbers so I never pick up, but an email would be fine to get back to.
Other people seem to just ignore emails since they have so many meetings and no secretary, so you have to drop them a text or a call to get hold of them at their convenience.
Similarly I drop some celebrities direct messages over Twitter and that is the best way to get hold of them as it is private and they can do it in their own time…
If they don’t like you then, well, make them!
An example of this is a friend who I think I don’t really want to see, but they have been asking to meet up for months now. I have always had excuses but now they are asking for a weekend way in advance where I have nothing on so they are now in the diary! I am sure I will enjoy the time with them and be glad I did it but it took them sending me a message on whatsapp at the right time to get my attention.
Moral: don’t give up! Also don’t restrict your method of conversation to just one that clearly isn’t working. Twitter might even be the best way to get the attention of someone professionally! If in doubt try all methods until you can get the attention to help progress yourself or your business.