Are you inadvertently depersonalizing sales?
During a conversation with a friend recently, he shared a story I hear all too often.
A social group he belongs to meets the first Tuesday of every month.
The meeting time is always 7 p.m. and has been for years.
A local company decided they wanted to sponsor his social group. Their goal was to gain more visibility into the products they sell.
After six months, the company started complaining.
They had expected new leads and opportunities would start flocking in (as a result of being a sponsor), but they hadn’t.
They wanted a refund from their initial investment.
You Can’t Sell If You Aren’t Social
Let me ask you, what do you think the company was doing in an attempt to gain more visibility?
Well, they did post on the group’s Facebook page periodically—typically attempting to sell a product outright.
Of course, they ensured there were always brochures available at every meeting the group held.
But that’s it.
No one ever attended a meeting.
They never offered to host a meeting.
I’d go so far as to say they did nothing that added value to any of the groups members at all.
When they asked for a refund, the chair of the group suggested they might first actually try attending a monthly meeting.
“That’s after hours, we’ve got family.”
This is what I like to call the depersonalizing of sales.
It’s an epidemic ramp-id in the business community.
All of the hype about building sales funnels and automating sales has created a belief that you can sell without actually talking to someone.
Sales (and selling) is based on relationships.
You might argue you don’t have time to participate in an after-hours meeting, and I hear you.
But would one meeting hurt?
If you invested time in that one meeting and got to know some people, now you have the ability to build on the relationships.
It’s the same reason I always recommend you call someone before ever sending them a cold email.
After all, if you don’t feel comfortable calling, then you shouldn’t be emailing.
I’ll admit that selling has changed in the last decade, and, of course, technology has a huge role to play today.
But nothing—absolutely nothing—replaces human interaction.
Ideas on How to Avoid Depersonalizing Sales
There are dozens of ways you can avoid depersonalizing sales while still incorporating technology.
Here are some of my favourites:
- Call your prospect before you send a cold email.
- Choose to send an audible message via SMS versus a written one.
- Use emojis in your email to demonstrate interest, humour, or compassion.
- Personalize a WhatsApp message with a voice message.
- Create a personalized voice message every day.
- Use humour in your out-of-office messages.
- Follow up a call or meeting with a personalized video message.
Notice that these are all very simple strategies.
Yet their impact (particularly when combined) can be enormous in helping personalize communications and in turn, relationships.
I might be stating the obvious here, but referring back to my friend, you simply can’t sell to a social group yet not be social.
The mere idea is ridiculous.
Once you realize that all sales require a relationship of some kind, working to avoid depersonalizing sales becomes an even greater priority.
© Shawn Casemore 2021. All Rights Reserved.