Coffee, Chicken and Software – all winning big with personalization.

This morning I made time for the drive-thru at Starbucks.   When I pulled in, the line was incredibly long.  I decided to be patient and as a result was car number 12.  The line moved quickly and I had “Jen’s chai tea latte” in hand, after about 4 minutes of waiting.  The barista was warm, kind, quick and called me by name – my kind of service.  I noticed on her screen it said something to the effect of “be kind, be personable – make their first experience of the day wonderful and memorable.”  I’ve had similar experiences at my go-to lunch of choice, Chick-fil-a.  Being called ma’am and hearing please, thank you and my pleasure Jen – always puts a smile on my face upon exiting the drive-thru line (and is a big reason why I return).

Both of these organizations understand the value behind a positive customer experience.  They know how special it makes us feel when they use our name and good manners.  These positive experiences reminded me how fortunate I am to work with a talented group of sales and marketing professionals that understand the power behind exuding a personalized, helpful experience for buyers.  We’ve recently gone through social selling training where the most successful sellers know how to personalize messages that make a buyer feel valued and willing to take the time to chat.  How do we know this?  We closely track our results (thanks to dashboards), daily.

In February we implemented a different type of buyer-engagement approach in our marketing and business development efforts.  Many have heard me use the term Smarketing; which simply means when you start thinking in terms of Sales AND Marketing and not Sales VERSUS Marketing – winning gets easier.  By personalizing our messages to buyers and serving up an experience that brings trust and value to buyers, we have exceeded our appointment setting goals by 48% over the past 90 days.

Marketing a challenger brand has many hurdles, but we have not let that stop us from transforming our team into a value-driven organization that understands how to win when you personalize the buyer’s experience.  It isn’t rocket science and we certainly have kinks in our processes that we continuously work on, but hearing that sales bell ring more and more – reminds me we have made the right decision to focus on the buyer’s experience and ensure they feel valued and trusted the very first time we engage them.


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