We’ve all had experiences when it felt as though we were treated like a number. We’ve waited in seemingly endless lines and finally heard a passionless “…Next!” We’ve gotten scanned and patted down in security zones. We’ve been on the receiving end of mass email sends with promotions and propositions that have nothing to do with our interests or needs.
In these situations, we can’t help but feel that the people on the other side of the interaction don’t care about us. They’re going through the motions as they do their jobs, detached. It feels like it doesn’t matter who we are.
B2B sales and marketing shouldn’t feel like this. Your prospects and customers should never feel like just a number or that you are just going through the motions to try and win or keep their business. Instead, B2B buyers and customers should feel a sense of relatability when they interact with you. They should feel that you care about who they are as a person, not as their professional persona.
It isn’t simply the right thing to do; B2B buyers expect sales professionals to be relatable.
Some recent research highlights this. In Salesforce’s ‘State of the Connected Customer’ report, we learn that “84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.”
The vast majority of B2B buyers agree – being treated like a number is not the way to win their business.
Delivering on this? That’s relatability.
In B2B selling, being relatable means you embrace the idea that you are selling to a real, live person, not a manufactured persona. When you’re a relatable B2B sales professional, you treat every buyer as an individual so that you can connect on a level that actually matters to them. You talk to people as people and put in the effort to connect with them on their interests and backgrounds in a way that may not have anything to do with the products or services in your portfolio. Being relatable means really listening to prospects and customers and being truly interested in what they have to share about themselves.
For example, if you discover that your prospect is a Boston Red Sox fan and you’re a Boston Red Sox fan, you’ve found a great common interest that can become the basis for a personal connection. Or, you may find that your prospect is a marathon runner who went to college in your hometown and loves horror movies. Now, you may have never run more than a mile in your life and you might make a point to steer clear of spooky cinema, but you’ve got a place-based point of commonality. You can turn that into a relatable connection. Listen for cues and keep asking genuinely interested questions about your prospects so that you can find points of relatability — what you learn will help shape your ability to be relatable as you communicate with your prospect as a unique person.
What happens when you’re relatable?
Ultimately, when you champion relatable sales and marketing efforts, you’re taking steps to connect with your prospects and customers as people, not personas — and that’s what they want. After all, people like doing business with — you guessed it — people. We see it all the time: B2B sales and marketing professionals who are relatable tend to make better impressions and build stronger relationships with their prospects and customers. What happens when you’re a relatable seller or marketer? Your prospects and customers will know they are more than a number to you, making your target buyers more likely to want to work with you. That’s a REAL win for everyone.
Relatability is a key element of Alyce’s REAL approach to humanizing B2B sales and marketing – it’s our letter R. Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts covering E, A, and L.
Now, here’s your REAL challenge: What will YOU do this week to be more RELATABLE with your marketing and sales prospects? Share your ideas in the comments!
For more about Alyce’s REAL approach to humanizing B2B sales and marketing, check out Episode 2 of the MarTech Podcast, and stay tuned for upcoming blog posts that delve deeper into each letter of the framework.