We know texting works to get ahold of people faster — here’s how to coach your team to adopt it for business.
Things are changing more rapidly than ever before. Big news is breaking every few hours, what’s trending on Twitter can change in seconds, and more and more new products are being released every day.
But, that doesn’t mean that people are necessarily welcoming change. In fact, business leaders tend to overestimate their employees’ desire for change. When about 45% of frontline professionals believe in maintaining the status quo, getting people to change the way things have always been done can be tricky.
Even if your team has been struggling to connect with contacts by phone and email, they may be hesitant to adopt text messaging into their outreach tactics. They may be committed to the status quo, they may be skeptical about its efficacy, or they may feel too busy to change things up. Whatever the reason, since we know text messaging works to get ahold of people faster, it’ll be worth the time and energy to coach your team to adopt it.
Here’s how to get your team to use business texting.
Encourage your team to ask questions.
The first step to overcoming resistance to change is having a productive discussion. Encourage your team to ask questions they have about business texting.
Here are a few examples of some questions your team may have, with sample answers.
Q: Is text messaging an appropriate way to connect with professional contacts?
A: Though text is often viewed as a personal form of communication, that perception is changing. Just as instant messaging — which was once used only for casual conversations — has become a staple in many offices, contacts often want to be texted. Some surveys indicate as many as 78% of consumers would like businesses to have a text option.
Q: How do we start text exchanges with our contacts?
A: It’s a great idea to check in with your contacts before you start texting them. When you chat with them on the phone or connect over email, let them know that text is another way to touch base, get questions answered quickly, and make plans.
Q: How do we translate our brand voice to business texting?
A: The brevity of text messages is part of what makes them so great for business. Though you may not be able to convey complex ideas like you can in email, you can convey a lot about your business through the way you communicate. Being friendly, casual, and natural in your messages will help keep contacts engaged with you — and can encourage them to explore your website and other outreach materials that give them a deeper sense of who you are.
Create a texting strategy.
Introducing change with a concrete plan will help get buy-in from your team. Show them how business texting will make their workdays easier by illustrating how it fits into your existing communication strategy. Here is an example:
Old lead nurturing protocol:
- Make a cold call and leave a voicemail if there isn’t an answer.
- Enter the contact into an email workflow. Some of the emails in the workflow will ask if the prospect would like to set up a phone or in-person meeting.
- Follow up by calling back again. Leave another voicemail if there isn’t an answer.
Text-enabled lead nurturing protocol:
- Make a cold call. If there is no answer, send a text message, asking the contact if there’s a better time to have a quick phone meeting.
- Send two brief check-in texts.
- Enter the contact into an email workflow. Two emails will directly ask to set up a phone or in-person meeting. Two emails will suggest texting with a good time to meet in-person or over the phone.
- Follow up by calling back again. Send another text if there’s no answer.
Linking texting with your larger company goals will also help your team understand the tool’s power.
For example, if you currently have outreach goals for phone and email, track text touchpoints, too.
If you track response rates or deals closed by salesperson, introduce a similar metric that follows each person’s efficacy by channel. Once your team experiences higher response rate over text, they’ll want to use funnel their energy into the most effective communication channel.
Offer an engaging conversation training.
As you can see, texting fits into your existing communication workflows and makes other forms of communication, like phone and email, more powerful.
To help your team see this big picture, consider a conversation training. This training can help your team be more intentional about the way they connect with prospects, clients, and each other, no matter what channel of communication they use.
Here are some guidelines for creating an engaging training on conversations:
- Root the training in your brand persona. How your team communicates is closely linked to your company’s values. Let those tenets guide how you focus the training. For example, if your company values honesty and transparency, focus your conversation training on communication techniques that grow trust.
- Talk to your team about what strategies work for them and what areas need improvement.
- Consider interactive elements in your training, such as conversation role plays, collaborative text templates, and brainstorms of best practices.
Make it easy and fun.
Texting is fun and easy, and you don’t need to lose that just because you’re in a business setting.
- Urge your team to use the power of brevity — it doesn’t take long to create a great, effective text message.
- Encourage your team to use emojis in their messages.
- Remind your team that texting is friendly and casual. They don’t need to be shy about including a little personality.
Once your team starts using business texting, the returns will be fun and easy to see, too.
Looking for more on text messaging best practices to share with your team? Check out our Definitive Guide to Business Texting.