The Timeless Value of the Human Connection
(This blog was originally published in 2016 on wodenworks.com)
We live in a world of increasing automation, routinization, and regulation; but people still sell cars. And not just cars either. We can still count on there being a person out there to explain exactly why we need those clothes, that book, or a fancy, new house.
For some, those sorts of “salesperson interactions” can be frustrating, so why do we still have them? Why isn’t there an automated system in place to calculate the best possible exchange of value for value?
The answer is simple: the value of the human connection will never go away.
Did you know that 50% of every buying decision is driven by emotion? In many cases, we are looking for more out of our transactions than simply acquiring the thing we need in a given moment. We want to be told why we need it, why it’s going to change our life, or simply why it’s going to make every day a little bit more pleasant than it could’ve been before that purchase.
When you walk into a clothing store, a good salesperson will help you decide what exactly you need to look your best, but that’s not all they will do. They will make you feel like those clothes are going to change who you are at a fundamental level. You will be more confident, more capable, and more sexually magnetic. In some way or another, those clothes are going to make your life exponentially better.
This feeling that you are special and at the very center of a person’s attention is incredibly powerful and it’s not fake even if that person is expecting a big commission at the end of the interaction. The feeling is what matters, not the motive driving it. That’s why people still sell cars.
79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. This is because marketers — in all their efforts to automate the process and reach as many eyeballs as possible — forget a simple little thing called lead nurturing. They forget the human connection.
It’s not enough to have a lead to make a sale. The valley between those two realities depends on your ability to communicate to your prospects that they are special and that your product is going to help make their life just a little more pleasant every single day. If you structure your lead nurturing with a human connection built into it, then the gulf between a lead and a sale might not seem so treacherous.
It’s as simple as personalizing your emails, your white papers, and your case studies. People like when they are being spoken to directly and they hate when they feel like they are just one target of an automated email campaign. Even if it takes a bit of extra time, it’s worth the effort to convince your audience that they all have individual value — that they are all special. Write thank you notes, engage directly on social media, and structure your content marketing in a conversational, intimate way.
It’s all about building lasting relationships between you and your customers and prospects. These relationships — these stories between people — are important and they can work absolute wonders for your sales and long-term, dedicated engagements.
In a piece for Forbes, Denise Lee Yohn talked about the big difference between sticking with a brand and being stuck with one. Customers are stuck with a brand when they are unhappy with it, but too discouraged to switch because of the cost. They stick with a brand because it makes them feel special and because they believe 100% that it can do the best possible job for what they need. A built-in human connection will help you foster a brand that customers are delighted to stick with.