I want to tell you a story.
Six years ago something happened while I was running my digital design agency that had a profound effect on the way I think about businesses and the path I’ve taken since.
One Pica was a bootstrapped business that I started right out of college. Through lots of hard work and some good fortune, it grew into one of the country’s largest digital agencies designing and building e-commerce sites for Fortune 500 companies.
As you can imagine, in order to create these sites we forged a lot of relationships with key customers, vendors, and partners. Specifically, we worked closely with 42 partners pushing them millions of dollars worth of business over the years and along the way forged some deep personal relationships.
We knew each other’s favorite sports teams, the names of our significant others and kids, and a good amount of our backstories.
So one day, one of the partners I had formed a close personal relationship with sent me a gift to celebrate the holidays.
Let’s call this partner Bert, to protect the identities of the not-so-innocent.
When I got back to the office after the holidays, the box Bert had sent was sitting on my desk. It had arrived while I was on vacation with my family, something Bert could have easily known had he seen my posts on social media.
Curious, I opened it, and inside there was a branded Patagonia jacket that was surrounded by Hershey Kisses.
There were two big issues with the gift:
- The jacket was a size too big. Bert sent me a large and I proudly wear a “schmedium.” A small medium. Bert should have known this. We had discussed it. I tell everyone. And we’d met face-to-face many times and spent time together at bars or going out to eat. I.E. he knew what size I was.
- I’m a health nut. I talk about it all the time. It’s a big part of who I am as a person. My time in the gym and watching what I put in my body is what makes me, me. So chocolate, nun-uh.
Now, Bert knew these things. We talked often about our shared interest in working out and health routines, what we did in our free time, and what was important to us.
So it got me thinking, why on earth would Bert send me a gift that was so impersonal?
That’s when it hit me, how impersonal business had become. And I started to ruminate about all the time I’d spent with everyone I had done business with over the years, all the meetings, all the calls, all the emails, all the dinners, and how, even when actively creating personal relationships, how thoughtless each interaction was.
Every time I reached out to Bert, his executive assistant was the one who responded. For every milestone that was posted on Linkedin, he used the canned responses that Linkedin provides. The impersonal, identical gift that was sent to every partner that Bert worked with.
At first, I thought, man Bert doesn’t care about me at all.
And then I realized it wasn’t Bert’s fault! That’s the way business was and still is being done.
The one-to-many outreach that automation and technology have allowed us to take advantage of has also stripped the real person out of most interactions, making them transactional in nature.
We’ve all seen this image, the MarTech space is saturated with companies that focus on automating our cadences and sequences, moving us away from one-to-one moments for the seemingly more scalable one-to-many touches.
As I think back it has also become clear to me that my realization was heavily influenced by the recent birth of my daughter, Zoe. And how for the first time, I really became aware that there were other people to think about besides myself.
Had I been as impersonal and thoughtless as Bert?
This new life that I was directly responsible for, bowled me over and man did I feel a new sense of responsibility to care for others.
If you haven’t had a child yet, let me tell you, it changes you. You go from an inherently selfish person to being completely selfless. From thinking all about me to all about them. In a moment. Just like that.
Then it clicked for me.
If you can dig deep, change your perspective, and think about the person on the other side of your interactions, the psychological connection you create with them changes.
You go from a transactional relationship to a personal relationship.
And good news! It’s not just me. Lots of people have started to have this same realization. When you look at how businesses operated 6 years ago when I got that package from Bert, to how it operates now, there’s been a sea change
Now, there’s more talk about being “human” and making your business authentic. More talk about how buyers are people not wallets or names on spreadsheets.
But I don’t think human is the right word.
I think we need to make business personal. Creating one-to-one moments with everyone you do business with drives you forward and differentiates you from the pack.
That’s why today, we’re officially launching the category of Personal Experience in business.
Personal Experience ( PX ) is the approach that prioritizes creating and strengthening personal bonds throughout the customer journey by transforming one-to-many touches into one-to-one moments driving sustainable business growth.
The Personal Experience ( PX ) approach is characterized by three main attributes: be relatable, be relevant, and be respectful.
Believe it or not, prospects and customers are not wondering how they can help us meet our revenue goals.
They want to solve their own problems.
As Zig Ziglar once said,
“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”
So many of our customers use Alyce for different reasons, but at its core, our customers are using Alyce to differentiate themselves during the marketing, sales, and customer success process and create personal bonds with everyone they do business with.
Nailing the Personal Experience approach will fundamentally change the way that teams market, sell, onboard, retain, budget, and forecast. In other words, do business.
Obviously part of this approach is creating individual personal experiences, personal moments, with your prospects and customers that bring you closer while you’re marketing and selling.
Finding the right tools to do so can help your business will help you create those one-to-one personal moments, at scale.
That is the core of our business, and we’re always working on ways to help our customers do more.