A friend of mine is doing some consulting work for a company looking to push a service that helps computerize one’s handwriting so that what appears to be personal notes can be sent out in mass. I’m not so sure if this service will work. For one, the recipient would need to think it’s really handwritten or the gesture will fail. For another, it needs to be priced right. But it made me think about how personal marketing and selling must be in order to be effective.
Customers want to be treated as individuals. When you solicit them you must come off as if selling only to them, as if you feel their desires, understand their needs, and have the ability to fulfill their goals. When you make a sale, they want a personal follow-up or note of appreciation. In a world where everyone sells everything and competitors will undercut prices in the click of a second, personalized service that customizes, caters, and accommodates is what will be the differentiator as to which company gets the business.
So when you’re selling your book to a person, a company, a store, or a group, take into consideration what they need, want, and desire. Cater to their expressed wishes but also to what they don’t share with you. You’ll need to make many assumptions or educated guesses as to what they really like and hate. Put yourself in their shoes and begin to see life through their eyes. What pressures, challenges or fears do they deal with? How do they see your competition for their mind and wallet? What will inspire them to say yes to your book?
Whatever the answers to these questions, I assure you that your attempt to personalize your outreach and follow-up will go a long way to netting a sale and developing a relationship with a customer.
And should you make a sale, send them a personalized thank you note, even if it’s computer generated.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.
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