When David and I first conceived the idea of Natural Habits, we were having a spirited discussion about the sales process overall. His perspective was from the seller side, and me, since my most recent experience is that of a professional buyer, from that side. This post will be one of several to hopefully articulate what Buyers hope their Salespeople would know.
I told David about an experience I’d recently had whereby a rep from a company my client had done business with had contacted me to ask if I had any orders I could send his way. I’d engaged that rep some months earlier, proactively, and hadn’t heard much from him since I’d placed that last order.
I always find salespeople’s approaches and processes interesting since I come from a sales and sales management background, and was intrigued by this rep’s outreach. It was via email and was very direct: “We’re getting to year end and I wanted to see if there’s anything you need from us before then.”
When the email popped into my previewer, I saw the name and thought, “Where do I know that name from?” Once I opened the email, I thought, “Where’s this person been?” and I replied to him that, we’re good for the year, thank you.
Now, I imagine many might think that email is an efficient way to communicate with your customers. In my case, my immediate reaction was what drove my decision not to engage with him. As a customer/buyer, I want the reps I work with to be concerned and interested in my client’s business and their needs. In this case, it felt like I was being, well, harvested.
It only takes a moment to make a phone call to ask, “How is everything going with you? Would you like to connect ?” Your customer will feel valued and even if they don’t agree to meet just then, they will remember the personal outreach and interest you displayed in them.
Engagement with people is how we connect with them. Empathy builds trust. Maybe make the phone call?