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Success in sales comes when you prioritize human connection

A slight shift in mindset comes with a high reward.

Success in sales comes when you prioritize human connection
[fizkes /AdobeStock]

Sales teams have long been laser-focused on building their pipeline with new leads and hitting their targets. But what can get lost in this day-to-day hustle is the people behind the deal. Those leads are people who are hustling in their own regard, solving their own customers’ problems, and are in need of greater human connection just like everyone else.

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Sales strategies today can’t just be focused on the how and what anymore; they need to better account for who we’re selling to as well. By more closely tying in customer engagement tactics into sales strategies, sales teams are better set up to create more meaningful, memorable interactions with potential customers from the beginning, and when those prospects turn into actual customers, there will already be a solid foundation to build off of to more effectively increase loyalty and, ultimately, ROI.

ENGAGED PROSPECTS MAKE FOR LOYAL CUSTOMERS

The best brands understand that fostering a connection with both prospective and current customers requires ongoing effort and dedication. It’s about getting in the mind of the customer and understanding their needs so that each and every interaction is positive and customized, which takes a reimagination of the sales pitch as it is today.

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According to Gartner, sales reps have roughly 5% of a customer’s total purchase time, so the “pitch” needs to be less about the product or solution itself and more about developing a relationship and earning trust, no matter where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Potential customers, in particular, are looking to learn something valuable in each conversation and engage with a company that understands their environment, their needs, and their wants. If sales teams leverage customer engagement tactics to create these kinds of experiences—ones that make people feel seen and heard—it results in stand-out impressions that will not only set them apart from competitors but can convert prospects into customers and turn customers into loyalists.

The good news is that incorporating more personalized, human-focused tactics into sales doesn’t require a full-blown transformation of strategy but simply a slight shift in mindset. Here’s what it can look like:

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  1. Turn the presentation into a conversation. Rather than approaching prospects with a traditional sales presentation, treat it like a regular conversation; use that time to truly listen to their challenges and walk away with a deeper understanding of the solutions that could work for them so that the next engagement can be even more personalized.
  2. Adjust your perspective. Interactions between sales representatives and potential customers often have a certain dynamic that’s centered around the assumed end goal (i.e., a closed deal). Instead, sales reps should approach potential customers as peers. A shift from viewing them as buyers to viewing them as peers can make conversations feel more comfortable and authentic.
  3. Rethink the goal. Each touchpoint with a potential customer shouldn’t be viewed as only an opportunity to sell but an opportunity to educate and excite. Leaving someone with helpful, useful, insightful information should be the goal of each interaction as it’s a benefit to them. Plus, the benefits of this are proven — Gartner research found that customers were 2.8 times more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease if they found the information received from suppliers to be helpful.

CREATE MEMORABLE INTERACTIONS

A shift in mindset is always a gradual process. It’s something that will take time for sales teams to truly embrace. More immediate methods of achieving meaningful, memorable connections can range from sending branded gifts, to setting up virtual experiences, or reconnecting at in-person conferences and trade shows.

Make connections not just with prospects but with employees, customers, partners and others. This strategy has been an integral part of business for years, from celebrating promotions and significant business deals to showing appreciation to dedicated partners and customers.

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Gifts, like a onesie for a potential client who just had a baby or a gift card to a customer’s local coffee shop, can hold sentimental value and make those who receive the gifts feel appreciated. What’s more, this engagement tactic reminds people of the connection that many are missing today, and it can entice people to come back for more.

It’s due time to pivot from the traditional sales mindset that’s all about the next sale and new leads to something more personal and more human. In the end, it’s a small shift that can benefit the sales team, the customer, and the organization—a true win-win-win.


Kris Rudeegraap, CEO & Co-Founder, Sendoso 
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