The Selling Power Of Personalization

“Trust every man, but always cut the cards.” – American Proverb

A fundamental principle of selling is that customers will buy more if they feel they know you. Understand that and you will be a much more powerful businessperson.The principle is true for all selling, . . . from telemarketing to direct mail to retail to door-to-door. And it makes sense. When you are buying from a new vendor, you can’t always be sure you are getting the best product at the best price. You have to scrutinize the deal, ask for backup and substantiation, and conduct a minor investigation. Once you have made an initial purchase and are satisfied with the transaction, the next one is easier. Eventually, the vendor becomes trusted – almost a friend.As a businessperson, you should cultivate this trust in your customers. The sooner you can achieve it, the better your business will do. The simplest and best way to establish trust is to do what you say you will do. Over and over again. But this takes time. To accelerate the process, marketers often use tricks and techniques to create a feeling of intimacy and knowledge where none exists.

A Shortcut To Trust

One of those techniques is personalization. If you can make your customer feel special, noticed, and important, he will be open to your suggestions. Dale Carnegie says the prettiest sound in any language is the sound of your own name. Professional salesmen and politicians know this.

What I Learned From A Master Of Personalization

When I think of the selling power of personalization, I remember my old friend GR, a gregarious Irishman and the best bartender I’ve ever known. GR had an amazing ability to remember names – but he did more than that. He also remembered one significant fact about each person he met. GR put these two bits of information to superb use. I’ve never met a better-liked person or anyone who could rack up more tips. When you walked into a bar where GR was working, you’d be greeted by name with his thunderous, jubilant voice – making you feel important and cared about in a moment’s time.

Then he would shout something about you – for me it was “MMF! El professoro!” because I was a part-time college teacher at the time. For my brother, a student of Latin at Cornell, it was “AF! Amo, Amas, Amat, Amantis, Amatis, Amant!”

GR seldom varied his greeting – originality wasn’t one of his virtues – but he never failed to warm your heart and loosen your purse strings. And it worked – despite the fact that he did it not only with me and my brother but also with every other person who walked into the bar.

The 2 Most Important Secrets Of Making Personalization Work

This taught me something about how personalization works. The key is not that you pretend you don’t have other personal relationships. It’s that you make each relationship (1) enthusiastic and (2) individual.

So, when you meet someone, memorize his name and one interesting (hopefully positive) thing about him. Then, the next time you see him, greet him jubilantly and ask a question or make a comment related to that one thing. You’ll be amazed at the effect.

This is a great tool for improving all your relationships, personal as well as business. And it will also improve your mood. Faking enthusiasm has a surprising tendency to create it.

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]