What’s the one thing that your customers and leads care more about than anything else? Well, apart from their business. It’s themselves, of course. They’ll care more about their business and how well they’re doing than your business and how much business you’re winning.
In sales terms this means that you’ll want to show them that you care about them, but also that you know a fair bit about them.
Before a sales call or follow up, or even before a quick catch up with a client, it makes good sense to familiarise yourself with them and their world.
What have they been up to? What challenges are they faced with? And what coffee do they drink?
Lots – if not all – of this information is potentially out there. Social media, blogs, emails and about pages on websites give you a lot of insight into your contacts.
Of course, when you finally meet your contacts you can gather a lot of this with a call or meeting too… just make sure you add it all to your CRM.
In your CRM will be a contact card or profile. This is where you’ll store all the contact’s information like their phone number, address, email and even social media handles. But that that’s not the only information you should store about them.
It’s all about personality
The personal details, the fun stuff, are really important. Let’s imagine that you’re about to make a sales call. It’s not a cold call as you’ve chatted on email or social media or at a networking meeting already, but you’re going to try and let them know about your product or service.
If you go in armed with just information on you and your business then you’re going to struggle to build up rapport.
But if you go in armed with some information on their favourite music, TV show, or pastime activity then you’ll be able to make the conversation all about them. When you’re chatting they’ll warm to you more as you’re talking about the one thing that matters to them – them!
So when you’re chatting at that networking event or exchanging messages on social media, take note of what they’re talking about and try to dig a little deeper to get some more information about them and their business.
Finding the details
Gaining this golden information is fairly simple in this modern world, and a lot of this can come from simply talking to people and showing an interest.
Here are some other ways to gain a little more information about your contacts, leads and enquiries. We’re talking about finding common ground, not stalking them for their inside leg measurement!
- About/Team Page – head over to their website and find out more. The about page can be really useful and more often than not, the team page will throw up some little tasty tidbits you can use.
- LinkedIn – Check out their LinkedIn for more about their personality. You can read their bio, their recommendations from others, and definitely their recent activity. At the bottom of their biography you’ll find ‘Articles & Activity’ and in here you’ll find any updates they’ve sent and also content they’ve commented on. You’ll often find some interesting content in here.
- Twitter – as with LinkedIn, head to the bio as it’s fairly common for a favourite drink or artist to be mentioned here, and have scroll through the most recent tweets, favourites and retweets. Their Retweets will also show what they’re interested in.
- Facebook – Facebook is a more personal channel and even if you’re not ‘friends’ you might be able to see a little about them with a quick skim. Sometimes the odd public update or photo will be visible due to their settings and you can get a little insight into their personal life. Maybe you have children of a similar age which might be a good talking point.
- Blog – the company blog (which can be extended to company social media posts on LinkedIn etc) is also a good place to have a scroll around. Try to work out what sort of company they are and how they see the world.
- Email marketing – You’ll need to be on their mailing list, so make a habit of subscribing to leads’ emails. Maybe use a separate email address or add them to a specific folder to keep your work email clear. But having a quick read of the last update can give you some really good conversation starters.
Once you have some good information on your contacts, add them to your CRM as you’ll be able to use them again and again, as will your team. Gathering these really useful insights can be a really great way of demonstrating common ground as well as your genuine interest in them and their business.
Using the details
And then of course you have to use the information in a good way to convince the lead or contact that you’re a good egg. This isn’t a stalking exercise. We’re not suggesting that you turn up at their favourite coffee shop unannounced; we’re suggesting that you arrange your meeting there because you know they like it.
Simple, effective touch points where you demonstrate something in common are perfect.
Maybe you discover that one of your hot leads likes golf and you just won a four ball. You’d want to make those two meet up!
What if you heard that a contact loves daffodils and it’s the first day of spring? Sending something fairly inexpensive can have a really big effect.
When you take them for coffee you know how they like it, when you meet them you know where they like to go, and when you call them you have some great conversation starters. It’s a lovely way to show how friendly and helpful you are. And it’s genuine.
How much better are your sales calls and follow-ups going to go now?
Follow up intelligently and then record it all
Using a CRM in your business means that you’ll never forget any of your contacts and you’ll also have the most important information about them right at your fingertips. Use your CRM to remind you to follow up, use it to store the information about your follow-up, but also add in some really great information on them too.
The most important thing in their world is them, so add them to your CRM and remember them – that way they’ll remember you too.