It sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? We personalize our conversations all day long with the people we know. It comes to us as naturally as reaching for our first cup of coffee in the morning. Yet, in all my years of selling and coaching others to sell, personalization is the one thing that even the most seasoned sellers fail to do often enough.
Why do so few sellers take the time to incorporate the personal touch in sales when they do it so instinctively in their everyday lives?
Further, if you ask most sellers how important personalizing is in prospecting they will say, “Very.” And yet, they don’t do it.
For some, they’ve been taught that sales is a numbers game. If they hit the right number of touch points a day, the odds are in their favor that they’ll stumble across a few good leads. But who cares how many touch points are made if they’re low quality and don’t deliver results? For others, they just don’t make the time for the research and strategic thinking necessary to customize in a meaningful way.
Wouldn’t you rather reach out to fewer prospects in a day and have more of them respond to you? Customizing your sales message can get you there. Yes, it takes more time, but the results are well worth the investment. Remember, you may email 50 people in any one day but they’re only seeing one email from you. Make it count! Is that one communication compelling enough to drive an outcome? If not, then why spend the time reaching out at all?
Here are steps to help you master the ART of personalizing your approach:
Answer. Who are you? What do you do? Why does what you do really matter to the decision maker you want to do business with?Answering the first two questions should be easy. Nailing the response to the third is the ticket to engaging prospects in a meaningful way that gets doors to open. Few sellers take the extra time to think about and articulate the response to the 3rd question. Those who do this well, win meetings and close more business.
1. Research. A great place to find the “why does it matter?” answer is right in your browser. Search the individuals you want to connect with and their companies. Look for recent press releases, quarterly reports, news articles and/or LinkedIn profiles to find the most compelling information available to customize your message. Your goal is to uncover a key strategic initiative for this year or gain a better understanding of what challenges the company, industry or person might be facing.
2. Tailor. Use this research to wrap “who you are” around “why it’s important” for your prospect to meet you.
Take a look at the difference in these openers:
Non-Personalized, Mass Approach:
Dear Mr. Smith,
I’m with TechBites. We’re experts in developing customized IT solutions for Web and Mobile platforms. We’re known for partnering with our clients and helping them grow.
I just read your interview in Outstanding Times where you mentioned your company’s plans to expand franchise operations by 35%, which prompted me to reach out. I’m with TechBites, a company known for creating web and mobile platforms specifically for franchisors. ……
It’s obvious which approach has a better chance of success. We sell to people. People who have hopes, dreams and desires. People with goals and ambitions. They are just like the people we interact with every day. We just don’t know them yet. Personalization is the key to opening the doors to new relationships and closing more business this year.