We’ve talked before about watching your tone, choosing your timing carefully, and just overall customizing your texts to each person as ways to write better texts. But I want to talk about what driving principles to focus on when writing personal and professional texts.
So here are 4 more tips to help you embrace more personable business texting.
Remember that buyer personas are guidelines
Buyer personas are a great tool for planning sales and marketing strategies. And of course you need to understand who your buyers are and what your customers like. However, relying too heavily on personas and what’s worked in the past causes you to miss out on opportunities.
I think all of us have struggled with this in one way or another. Our brains like patterns and neatly organized information. Buyer personas and similar resources help us stay on track. So here’s some advice for making a conscious effort to break out of sales and marketing patterns:
- Practice active listening (yes, you can still do many of these things even while texting)
- Avoid the knee-jerk reaction to automatically use a previously saved message to reply
- Do basic research on the businesses and industries of new leads and customers
- Remember that you’re talking to a human, even if they are representing a company
Doing these things helps you be ready to interact with exceptions to your personas who will still make great customers. You just need to be paying enough attention to realize what you have is an opportunity and show them the value of what you’re selling.
After all, these are the people who can help you break into new markets and see new possibilities for your products or services. While you don’t need to shift all your sales and marketing to focus on the industry they’re in, your conversations with them can inform future business decisions.
Avoid “funnel vision”
“Funnel vision” is what I call getting so obsessed with the marketing and sales funnel that you don’t see the signs of what people actually want. You miss opportunities to market and sell to them in the way that will actually result in conversions and repeat sales.
It’s easy to think you know the “right” cadence, content, and timing for all of your marketing and sales texts. But if you don’t see the value in treating people like people and not just numbers in your funnel, those messages will appear generic and impersonal. You must focus on solving people’s actual problems, not just getting them through the predetermined customer journey as fast as possible.
Carefully look at what people are asking you and then give them a direct answer. Ask clarifying questions and encourage them to do the same. Get to know them, their business, their needs… Don’t rely on assumptions or how others usually act at a certain stage in the customer journey.
Each conversation should be treated individually and should not follow the same path. Yes, there should be patterns in conversations that you can take advantage of, but focusing so much on patterns will cause you to miss important details that otherwise would lead to gaining new customers and brand advocates.
Developing a voice for sales and marketing is important, but that voice has to be you. The most human businesses always win, and you are one of the humans who makes that possible. And texting is all about conversations, so write messages that stoke conversation.
Talk with customers about relevant struggles and achievements. Use emojis or GIFs to convey emotions and excitement. Send photos and videos to help people get to know you and learn that you’re going to help them solve their problems. Build the type of common ground that can only be built by making personal connections.
How you text a lead might be different than how someone else does it. And that’s okay! It’s important event. Different approaches are effective in their own way. Collaborate with your teammates and coworkers and talk about the strategies that you personally have found successful. Give each other ideas for sending more personal messages.
Maybe I should have put this first. Because I’d argue that it’s ultimately the most important part of all marketing and sales.
No matter who you’re talking to, just be kind. Try to see situations from their perspective. Really dig deep into solving their problems. Show as much empathy as you can.
So, for example, if you can’t offer them the solution they need, don’t pretend you do. Instead point them in the direction of a trusted company who might. You weren’t going to get their business anyway, so why not help them find a business that is a better fit? That doesn’t cost you anything!
Or here’s another common situation. All of us get frustrated when leads and customers suddenly stop responding. Who likes being ghosted? Not me! But think of it as one more chance to be kind and leave a lasting impression with a final follow-up text making sure they know how to get in contact in the future. If it suits the situation, leave them with one more resource that you think could be helpful and informative. It could be a video, blog post, or infographic. Again, this doesn’t detriment you in any way but gives the person a chance to see what doing business with you is like.
I hope you take the time to look over your business texting habits and strategies and find ways to be more human. I promise your leads and customers will appreciate it a lot when you write texts that are both personal and professional. And I think you’ll end up feeling a lot happier too.
Ready to try out these tips but aren’t sure what to use? Sign up for a free Skipio account and start sending messages to your customers within minutes!