I’m sure you’ve heard of H2H or Human-to-Human selling in the last year or so. While the concept makes sense, is it really, as many are suggesting, the future of sales approaches? B2B and B2C sales have been around for years and have worked up until now, so should the sales profession become more ‘humanized’ or should we stick to more traditional ways?
I think that the former, more human method of selling resonates more in today’s market. As a consumer myself and part of a marketing team that gets inundated with sales calls from potential suppliers selling everything from ad space to training, conference tickets and expo stands, I’d be far more receptive if these calls were a bit more personal. I’m not expecting them to know everything about me (that’d be pretty terrifying) but to know my name, what I do and if their product is a fit for my needs. Instead, callers cut corners and take the easy way out, asking to speak with ‘whoever looks after your events’ or something along those lines.
I hate cold calls and I know I’m not the only one. Granted, I’m not a salesperson, but taking 5 minutes to research a company before picking up the phone, using LinkedIn to find out who I need to speak to and making sure the company is a possible fit just seems like common sense, turning a cold call into a warm introduction. Almost half of a B2B buyer’s journey is complete by the time you pick up the phone. If they are looking for what you offer, they will have done their research already, turning to online sources instead of salespeople.
At the risk of becoming another faceless organization, businesses need to become more ‘human’. Put a face to a name, inject some personality and become an approachable, friendly company that people will want to do business with and can come to for advice.
It will encourage loyalty, recommendations and will make it easier for customers to keep spending with you.
So, how can you do it? Here are our three top tips for becoming a more ‘human’ business.
Use social media
One of the best ways to add some human qualities to your business is through social media. Once you have battled your way through all the videos of grumpy cats, banal tweets aboutOne Direction and the rest of the clutter, social media is actually a pretty powerful tool.
Social media can be the instant communication that so many customers look for. You can use it to tweet about your new products, answer quick questions and even share the latest happenings at your company’s teambuilding day.
A lot of consumers now turn to social media to vent about their problems or praise a company’s product or customer service. As a salesperson, social media can be your tool to spot an easy sales opportunity and get a better understanding of what is troubling your prospective customers. A little bit of research will make that first call a little more human and is likely to result in a positive reception from your prospect.
Get personal with your customers
If you’re working with thousands of customers, providing a personal level of service can be difficult without some form of technology in place to manage your customers for you. Keeping track of what has been ordered, delivered and promised to your customer can get chaotic when you’ve got thousands of them all at varying stages of their buying cycles.
Getting your wires crossed is not the best display of personal customer service. A good CRM system will keep track of your customers for you without having to remember every name and detail about them. It’s always a nice touch when you can ask how their recent holiday was and it will make you more approachable in the future. Business today is all about end of time relationships, not end of month totals.
Don’t hard sell – solve problems
Last but by no means least, and this goes back to my grumbling about cold calls earlier, you need to be solving problems not harassing people into saying ‘yes’ just to get you off their case.
No one is looking to be sold to anymore; they’re looking for solutions to their problems. Tell your prospect that you can save them money, time and effort rather than bombarding them with features that they won’t really care about.
Stop talking about you and talk about them. People love to talk about themselves, their problems and what keeps them up at night, let them vent and you can swoop in with a solution when they need it most.
How is your company going about becoming more human? Or are you still championing a B2B/B2C approach? Let us know your thoughts and top tips in the comments section below.