Are You Starting Conversations With Leads The Way They Want? (Spoiler: Most Salespeople Aren’t)

All sales and marketing automation technology should be put in place so you can communicate with leads the way they want to communicate with you.

Not the way you want. 

Or the way you think they want. 

Or even the way your sales manager wishes they wanted.

But the way the leads want. Period.

It’s funny, we’re all taught the golden rule from day one. “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” And yet, it’s a completely myopic and non-compassionate theory. 

Because not everyone you meet wants to be treated the same way you do. To assume as such is not only naive, but can cost your company money.

That’s one observation that still surprises us. The number of salespeople who approach the task of connecting with, creating value for, and closing deals with leads from their limited perspective. Too many businesspeople are putting their preferences for communication channels above the needs of the customer.

The other day our customer support team was chatting with one of our top users, Tori Jones, Franchise Development Coordinator of PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, and she confirmed this theory:

“I can call and call and call, but if they don’t want to speak to me on the phone, they’re not going to answer it. But when there’s an option to text back, shoot an email or find time on the calendar, there’s a convenience factor.”

Imagine how hard Tori’s job would be if she kept calling, rather than adjusting her approach to include texting and emailing as communication options.

Are you starting conversations with leads the way they want?

If your sales team isn’t doing so, here’s a mantra that might help. My mother in law works at an assisted living facility that specializes in dementia care. And there’s a term in this sector of the elder care industry called “join the journey.”

Meaning, the caregiver’s responsibility is to encourage the patient experiencing dementia to take whatever path they choose. Not to correct them if they misremember a memory from their past, but to support them in exploring their unique path fully. Doing this allows the healthcare providers to deliver personalized care that enables their patients to live with meaning and enjoyment, even if that reality isn’t different from theirs.

Naturally, this has nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with humanity. 

For salespeople, the goal is honoring the customer’s reality, whether that means text, email, phone, or even sitting six feet across from each other at a coffee shop.

All sales and marketing tools should be put in place so you can communicate with leads the way they want to communicate with you.

Instead of treating customers the way you want to be treated, treat them the way they want to be treated. 

Your contact rate will never be higher.

Scott Ginsberg is Head of Content at FranFunnel. He prefers starting conversations with people using nametags.

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