“Hi, this is Samuel and I’m calling from Products & Services International. Do I have the owner of the company on the line?”
Click. Gone. Done. You never stood a chance.
If you aren’t personalizing your outreach, you’re leaving bags of cash on the table. More importantly, you aren’t reaching and helping people who legitimately need your product or service.
According to McKinsey, seventy-one percent of consumers expect companies to personalize the buying experience, and seventy-six percent of people become frustrated when outreach efforts aren’t personalized.
Those numbers are telling!
They tell us we can’t afford to take a one-size-fits-all approach in sales. But they also tell us where the money is made. It’s made where the curated experiences happen. It’s made where a little extra intentionality and customization are crafted into the sales process.
McKinsey calls this “Demonstrating customer intimacy.” And it’s all about creating experiences for our customers and clients.
I know this might sound overwhelming. You might even be thinking, “How can my team call our target of 10,000 prospects this week with a personalized approach? It’s too much. It’s just not scalable.”
But… let’s do some simple math based on the statistics we know. We’ve learned that 76% of people are frustrated when you don’t personalize, and can we agree that most frustrated people don’t turn into buyers? Good. So that means 7,600 out of 10,000 calls are basically wasted. You’re only getting through to about 1,400 out of 10,000 people!
Now comes the magic.
Let’s say you scale back and do half the outreach, but with a more personalized approach. Instead of 10,000 calls, you only call 5,000 prospects. Remember that 71% of consumers expect you to personalize your messaging. That means you’re getting through to 3,550 prospects!
In other words, less is WAY more when you personalize.
Unfortunately, if you choose to slink back from the challenge of personalizing, you’ll be in good company. In fact, 87% of businesses don’t personalize the sales experience. And this leaves the door wide open for the competition to come in and swoop up your buyers.
The top sales leaders today know that personalization starts conversations, it builds relationships, and it transforms customers and clients into brand evangelists. Let me break this down.
Personalization Starts Conversations
First off, use your prospect’s name when you call them, and use it throughout your conversations. As Dale Carnegie famously said “A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” But this is just the beginning.
I always encourage salespeople to do their research before calling a prospect. Spend 5-10 minutes gleaning as much intel as possible — from their name to their interests, to awards they’ve won and even their professional background. This allows you to really personalize your outreach and shows that you care enough to do your homework.
Most importantly, it starts the conversation by signaling to your prospect, in so many words, “I’m a good guy, and I’m your friend. You can drop your guard.” And like a doctor who desires to cure their ailments, you can now speak to their specific pain points. You can customize your pitch and frame it in a way that solves their problem(s). That’s the power of personalization in sales.
Same goes for cold emails if you’re running an email campaign. Open with a personalized first line, agitate the pain points (like a doctor rubs the abdomen to feel for pain), and prescribe them something that works. This isn’t rocket science here. It’s simple, straightforward, and it can totally transform your salary or your entire sales department virtually overnight. The key is consistency!
Personalization Builds Relationships
OK – you personalized your outreach and closed the deal. Good on you. Now it’s time to deepen that relationship with even more personalization. Check this out…
I recently signed up for a moderately expensive web-based service, nothing too crazy. After the onboarding process took place, and after a week of getting familiarized with the service, I received a call from the Sales Director of the company. He wasn’t trying to upsell or cross-sell me. He just wanted to chat.
He asked how I was enjoying the service, and for the next several minutes we got to talking about various topics including business, kids, sports, and life. I tell you — it was a breath of fresh air! I imagine every six months or so he’ll reach back out. And guess what, that alone just might keep me around as a customer.
You might think the intent is obvious — that they are just trying to keep customers from churning. That might be the ultimate aim. But what it feels like to me is a business peer who wants to take care of me and ensure my happiness. And all it takes is a few minutes of a personalized touch.
Now imagine what this could do for your sales numbers, your sales department, or your business as a whole.
Personalization Results in Brand Evangelists
Chewy.com is one B2C business that has personalization dialed-in. And B2B sales and marketers can learn a lot from this one simple but profound act of personalizing.
First, if you’re not familiar, Chewy.com is an online retailer of pet food and pet products. Chances are you’ve seen a Chewy box on someone’s doorstep. Well, they make personalized touches throughout the customer journey, but they have one touch that really stands out and makes an impression on pet owners.
When a subscriber’s pet dies, Chewy sends flowers and a hand-written note offering their condolences to the pet parent. Wow! Think of it. During a time of grief, a company steps in the fray just like a friend. (If we’re being honest, most friends don’t go to such lengths to show they care.) And people share their notes and flowers across ALL channels of social media. A similar act of kindness and personalization can turn your customers or clients into lifelong brand evangelists. That is, they will follow your company and go out of their way to tell others about how great it is.
Think this is only for smaller mom-and-pop businesses? Think again. Chewy was acquired in 2017 by PetSmart for a whopping $3.35 Billion. Companies big and small can get in on the personalization game. It’s part of capitalism, which is a beautiful thing. Remember, capitalism is all about helping people get what they want! And personalization is what people want.
As you can see, adding some personalization in your sales process can make a massive difference in your sales numbers and your company’s bottom line. If you’re a career salesperson, do this to really stand out and get ahead. Trust me, your sales manager, director, and even the VP of Sales will take notice. And if you’re a sales leader, encourage acts of personalization in your team. It really is a game-changer.
Before we sign off, here’s an important tip to keep in mind. Keep accurate data. Ensure you have your prospect’s (or customer/client’s) name right. It should be spelled correctly. Nothing is more irritating than getting a “personalized” cold call or cold email with someone either butchering your name or calling you the wrong name altogether. So be sure to keep your CRM up-to-date and accurate.
And with that, it’s time to get out there and personalize your approach in sales.
Until next time…