People buy people may be an overused business parlance but it is completely true.
If you stop to think about it you'll realise that your friends share your beliefs and values - at least to some degree and that forms trust.
It’s probably safe to say that you’ve been sold to by one of your close friends. Not necessarily in a monetary transaction sort of way – but in terms of swaying your opinion and changing your mind. You tend to value your friends opinions because you have that common ground.
You better identify with their points and they’re able to provide more relevance because they know what really matters to you.
The most effective sales and marketing teams operate in much the same way – by putting personality first.
The internet really has changed everything. Years ago, we took everything at face value and often accepted a hard-sell because we didn’t know any better or have the resources to do otherwise.
CONSUMERS ARE CLEVER
We often have become an expert on a product or service by the time we get to the point of purchase, sometimes more so than the person we're buying from. We’ve explored every option. We’ve listened to the opinions of previous customers. We are in a position where we know what we want and we can buy it from wherever we feel is most suitable.
How we make purchasing decisions has changed and is almost always based on emotions rather than logic.
Putting personality first taps into this lucrative emotional space.
So where do you begin by introducing personality into your business? It all begins at the core:
YOUR MISSION, VISION AND VALUES
Every business worth their salt has them. The really good ones know what they are and do their best to abide by them.
Take the time to go back and make sure that these hold true. If you effectively outlined these in the first place, they should be as relevant today as they were at the beginning.
Everyone at your business should share the same values. Don’t just employee talent – that can always be taught and developed. Employee those that hold the same values as your business as this is what will shape everything going forward.
Consumers can spot a lie a mile away.
When you’re trying to be something you’re not – people will know. When the personality of your brand is mixed, confused or even non-existent – it will raise eyebrows. When the messaging on your marketing material doesn’t line up with the service they receive in person – it will turn people away.
Emotions are very sensitive and stimulating emotional responses from customers requires your business to be absolutely and undeniably genuine.
SO HOW DO YOU PUT PERSONALITY FIRST?
If you and your colleagues live and breathe your brand, this should be pretty easy.
Don’t just make your messaging about how great your product or services are. Don’t make it all about you either. Make it all about your customers and their emotions.
It can’t just be us that get a little bit excited when marketing messages appear to be personalised for us. Not just a simple “hi ____,” but very specific references that connect with you deep down.
Have you ever seen a piece of promotional material and before you know it, you’ve bought the product, downloaded the demo or requested a call back, all without even realising?
It’s an almost instinctive response; the proposition eliminated all question or doubt
That’s because it introduced a little personality and spoke to you as if you were friends. Remember what we said about your friends being a whole lot more persuasive than people you don’t know or trust?
Marketing is all about breaking down that wall of anonymity - connecting with customers in a way that builds a trust and closeness and allows for emotional responses to be triggered.
HOW IS THIS DONE THROUGH PRINT?
A picture tells a thousand words, but the right words can tell a thousand words too.
Technology has got to a point that we can print on almost any material. The possibilities really are endless. This means that the only limitation you face when it comes to putting your personality first is your personality in the first place. You need to embrace it and put it out there.
In a world that’s totally saturated by sales messages and an overload of content - personality is the real differentiator.