Be human. That’s what everyone is talking about these days. Be authentic. Make your business about people. Find the human connections.
This idea, of course, isn’t rocket surgery. For most people, the notion of treating people like people, at the very least, SOUNDS like something that makes sense.
So many, especially folks who are in sales professions (REALTORS, sure, and so many others), treat their customers, past clients and even their friends like sales targets. Don’t think that’s the case?
Let’s examine this.
Once or twice a month, Salesperson X turns to his lovely CRM and its sparkly drip campaign. A bright, shiny newsletter with all kinds of facts and testimonials and accolades about the salesperson ("ME! ME! ME!"), not to mention data and sales figures and all sorts of irresistible goodness is blasted out in fully templated glory to each and every person Salesperson X knows. When his friends sit down at their computers after a long day’s work and they check their email inboxes, what do you think happens. Do they (A) click, read, and respond to the message, (B) yawn and scroll right past it, ignoring the message in favor of the LOL cat sent by their college friend, or (C) delete it and never give it a second thought?
If you answered an enthusiastic “A”, you’re … wrong. That’s right, WRONG.
Sure, there are instances in which Salesperson X might get lucky and find the one person who wants to buy a house (or a widget or a thingamabob) RIGHT THEN. But the odds of that actually happening are slim to none. That brings us to THE PROBLEM.
THE PROBLEM is that salespeople are always ready to sell that thing they sell, but most people simply aren’t ready to buy it. They operate on their own schedule. THE SOLUTION is to find a way to maintain a good relationship with these people until such time that they are ready to buy. And if you think maintaining that relationship is gonna happen by zapping off pre-canned messages talking about how awesome you are, the odds of you losing a whole lot of business are pretty high.
And look. Sending email from drip campaigns or other such services isn’t a BAD thing. It’s something that should definitely be part of your overall marketing campaign. But it can’t be the only thing, and it shouldn’t be.
Email doesn’t have to be ME-mail. It doesn’t have to be selling all the time; that’s just boring and myopic. Email is the single greatest marketing tool in a salesperson’s quiver. It should be used in a way that might actually foster good relationships–relationships that might lead to real business. Relationship building services (such as Happy Grasshopper) help salespeople keep in touch with their customers without being so in-your-face and pushy. Their messages take the pressure off of the messages’ recipients because they’re being treated like people–like friends–instead of sales leads.
We’ve got all sorts of statistical data that show the open rates for this type of messaging are well above those for traditional, drip-style emails. Not just that, but data that show customers are actually responding to the messages (which is, as any salesperson knows, pretty unusual).
Stop talking to your customers like they’re numbers. Treat them like they’re your friends. Be human. It’s not rocket science, but it’s good business.