For modern customers, there’s almost always more than one option when it comes to making a purchase. That makes it even harder for sales teams to close deals. But when customers are inundated by countless messages everyday, personalization can help.
Buyers don’t want to feel like they are part of the herd. They want to feel special and taken care of. Working to fulfill that need can help your team stand out. There are a variety of ways to personalize pitches and approaches. Be sure to keep these methods in mind when empowering your team.
1. Start with research
There’s no one-size-fits-all sales pitch that will work with every prospect. Before you actually meet with a client, research them heavily on social media and by visiting their website. Pay particular attention to LinkedIn and Twitter; LinkedIn will help you understand what they or the company they work for does, while Twitter will give you a sense of how they communicate.
This information will come in handy as you craft your sales pitch. You’ll want to use wording tailored to their background and demographic. Just be wary not to fall into the trap of appealing to stereotypes. You’ll need to engage with them directly to see the big picture.
2. Listen to your clients’ stories
Research can only take you so far. To truly understand what a client wants, you’ll need to talk to them directly. When you speak with a prospect for the first time, don’t try to sell them anything. The goal is to keep the meeting as casual as possible and the focus on them. This will allow you to get to know them so you can tailor a sales presentation to fit their needs and desires.
Be particularly vigilant in identifying a prospect’s pain points. If clients can immediately see how a product or service will make their lives easier, they will be more likely to make a purchase.
Make the meeting a conversation; ask open-ended questions to get them talking. Try telling stories about problems your own clients have faced to find out if there’s any common ground.
If you meet in person, consider some personalized promotional materials to leave behind. People like free stuff, and this could help them open up to you. You don’t need to invest in anything overly expensive; something personal and practical (such as wearable items like T-shirts or hats) work fine.
3. Tailor your emails
Automated emails can save a lot of time, but nobody likes to feel they’re being talked to by a faceless robot with no interest in what they do. This is why having personalized email templates is so important—you can keep your sales process efficient while still appealing to prospects on an individual level.
Include as many different variables as possible—for instance, mention a recent piece of content that the prospect published or a connection that you share on social media. Avoid simply stating the obvious; point out a connection between the personal detail you’re mentioning and what your own brand has to offer.
As always, focus on the value and benefits that your product or service can provide—don’t just list off a bunch of features.
4. Send handwritten letters
Don’t limit your communications with potential clients to only electronic mediums. Not only can your message get lost in a sea of emails, it can often come across as cold and impersonal.
A handwritten note goes a long way towards letting prospects know that you’re friendly and approachable. It’s important to still keep it professional, so consider stationery with envelopes printed to match your team’s brand. This will help potential clients to remember your brand.
Most sales letters should be no longer than one page. Reference some things you talked about at your last meeting to let them know you were listening. This also signals to them that this isn’t a simple form letter they send to everyone; you’re paying specific attention to them.
5. Make personalized recommendations
Throughout your conversations with the prospect, consider recommending other products and services that could help your prospect, outside of the pain-point your own product solves. This should come up naturally, but it shows that you’re trying to provide value and not just selling your product.
Stick to the products or services that are most relevant based on what you’ve discussed. Clients will appreciate the fact that you didn’t waste their time on things for which they would have no use. You can make recommendations for other purchases, but be sure to explain how they solve your client’s unique problems.
You could even try partnering with a sales team from a different company to recommend their goods or services. Recommendations you receive from a cross promoting partnership could also provide additional sales leads.
6. Use technology to assist you
The landscape of sales has changed, and some of the most powerful tools in your toolbox can be found on your own phone or tablet. Sales engagement apps provide sales team members with a ton of helpful tools, content and information right at their fingertips—and they also make personalization much more convenient.
Apps such as Seismic, for instance, allow you to produce documents and multimedia presentations on the fly from a drag-and-drop interface. Many AI-driven apps can actually handle the personalization process for you, automatically recommending applications for you to use during a presentation based on elements of a client’s history.
7. Thoughtful follow ups
Your relationship doesn’t end after the sale. Continue to send notes and cards periodically to remind clients you are available. If you sell a product or service that needs to be refilled or done on an annual basis, send them reminders that this is coming up. Be sure to include notes from your meetings to show that you’re paying close attention.
Don’t bog them down with correspondence, but it’s ok to send a holiday card or another note related to a special occasion. You can even send them something celebrating the anniversary of your first meeting or sale with them. Clients will appreciate the extra time and attention to detail you are giving them even after the sale—and they’ll remember that when someone asks for a recommendation. You can even include a referral discount code in your correspondence to entice them into giving you additional sales leads.
8. Update your process regularly
Personalization isn’t something you just do once and then never touch again. To keep your process effective, you have to review it periodically and make changes as needed. Keep track of your analytics and identify the elements that are or aren’t working.
Also, make sure you stay up-to-date on new developments in personalization technology. The right piece of software could increase your sales productivity tenfold, so you don’t want to be out of the loop.
Do you have any other sales personalization strategies? Leave them in the comments below.