The following article is an excerpt from Jeff Shore’s newest book, Follow Up and Close the Sale, coming from McGraw-Hill July 14. Click here to pre-order your copy and unlock Jeff’s exclusive pre-order bonuses.
Think about the things in your life that might be personalized: a letter or greeting card, a meaningful gift from a loved one, an article of clothing, maybe even a house.
Why do we love personalization? It’s because it makes us feel special and important. Are you making your customers feel important throughout the sales process?
Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, had an approach that gets at the value of personalization, whether you’re selling makeup, new homes, computers, or your own services.
“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”
Notice that this advice doesn’t mention product. Great sales conversations go far beyond a discussion about the product or service. Effective sales calls facilitate a human connection.
People are more likely to buy from people they like, and they are more likely to purchase from someone with whom they share a connection.
If you want to take that customer-first approach, it begins with knowing your customer well. If you don’t know your customer, I can’t help you.
Is your discovery deep enough to understand the fine points? How much do you know about your customer’s life? Her family? Her interests? Her pets?
I was having a suit made recently, and the conversation turned to favorite podcasts. I informed the salesperson that I had my own podcast. (The Buyer’s Mind. You should check it out!) He expressed interest in listening to it.
When we met later for the second fitting, he shared with me what he had learned in listening to several episodes.
Not only did he bring up specific points of interest, he also asked me about my podcasting history, my enjoyment, and my equipment. He took a genuine interest in something that was important to me. That’s great follow-up.
One sales professional told me: “The key to successful follow-up is making the connection before your buyer leaves. Find that commonality between you that makes you relatable. Exchanging knowledge or interest in something your buyer is interested in will help you let their guard down. You become a friend and not a salesperson, and how easy is it to call a friend? That’s my secret sauce!”
What kind of information makes for personalized follow-up?
• Understanding interests
• Learning about hobbies
• Discovering personal tastes
• Being observant about small details
• Finding out about family
• Knowing their background and experience
The most important pieces of information for your CRM are the small details that lead to a personal connection with a big payoff in the follow-up process.
Don’t miss this. Our world is so full of impersonal marketing messages. So much sales outreach is based on generic information and lacking personal attention.
That means you can stand out in a hurry with minimal effort. Just find and leverage the connection point.