Human that is. To be a human being for your prospects and customers will have a greater marketing and sales impact than any other agenda you might pursue. Your prospects and customers are starving for human attention—they are overwhelmed and frustrated at automated emails and phone calls. When was the last time you made a phone call and heard, “Dial 1 for X, Dial 2 for Y, Dial 3 for Z,” and thought to yourself, “Oh, good, they have an automated system!” If you are anything like the general public, you simply press zero and hope that you will be connected to a live human being.
In the early days of phone and email automation, it was a novelty to receive a recorded phone call or a marketing email. Today, we are bombarded with recorded phone calls and marketing emails and, as a result, many people have become immune, even numb to them.
There are three things that you must do if you want to truly connect with your customers and prospects:
Decide when and how to use your technology.
CRM and technology do not sell cars, people do. This does not mean that we should ignore automated methods of reaching out to our customers. What it does mean is that we have to be very selective with regard to the volume and scope of automated follow up systems. In general, if you are providing information to the prospect or customer that is valuable to them, an automated email or phone call may be acceptable. If you are marketing or selling something to the customer, a genuine phone call or hand-typed email will be much more effective.
Learn to be human again.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself which emails you would actually read? When would you really listen to a recorded call? If you are using automated emails, keep them short and sweet and minimize the use of fancy graphics and lots of pictures. Write your emails strategically. Your customers and prospects are much more likely to read an email if it looks like a real person sat down at his computer and wrote it.
Technology does not take the place of human activity. If your internet manager is sending 10,000 bulk emails each month and waiting for the sales to roll in, hire a green pea to sit and make outbound calls all day. Guess which one will sell more cars? Get rid of the automated birthday email and have your reps actually pick up the phone and say happy birthday. Human relationships will create more customers and retain them longer.
Hans Van Order is the CEO of UDC, Inc. He has over 15 years of management experience within consulting, training, and software organizations. For more information call 888-284-5833 or visit www.udcnet.com.
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