Recently, we made a venue change for our Sales Camp signature course in Minnesota. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly. I’d sort of become attached to the original venue and the people there. They were high touch and they took great care of us and excellent care of my clients, which was most important to me.
Until they didn’t anymore.
My key contact changed and suddenly everything at the venue changed.
And it reminded me that organizations can have strong, solid brands, but at the end of the day, it’s still about the people they employ and the way those people touch the prospects and clients in that business.
Believe me, this is something I’m constantly concerned about in my own company. It’s an ongoing conversation because humans are not perfect.
But you don’t have to be perfect to be high touch. More about that in a minute.
So after everything changed at our current venue, we were on the search for a new venue for Sales Camp in Minnesota. We put out a few requests for proposals and I was emailed back some promising quotes. They all looked about the same, so I knew it was going to come down to one thing: high touch. Who cared enough to go that extra step?
I sent my top choices to my team and they gave me their very valuable feedback. Then, out of the blue, one of the former employees (the one who had left) from our original venue reached out to me saying that she’d love to earn my business again. Bingo! I thought, “This is it!” I waited for her to give me that sign that this was the perfect answer, but instead, there were some challenges in working with her and she wasn’t sure she could accommodate my dates. So as much as I thought this was my sign, my clear sign to work with her again, it turned out that it actually wasn’t.
And then (can you hear angels singing?), I received a letter in the mail from the president of the venue I was leaning toward. It wasn’t a handwritten note, but it WAS a very professional letter, thanking me for my business and saying that they were looking forward to working with me again (I’d held one event there in the past and they had been excellent with their delivery). Their staff had already reached out to me and was very professional, so this was the high touch connection I needed to seal the deal.
And, it didn’t involve too much technology (okay, I’m sure he wrote it on his computer). After all, it’s super fast to send an email or a text, but it takes a little more time, effort and thought to send a letter.
And so I was DONE! I signed the contracts that day, scanned them, and emailed them to my contact, feeling very confident in the decision I made.
One very simple, high touch letter was all it took to be the differentiator for me to say yes to this new venue, this new company.
And that’s what I want to explore with you. What can you do in your sales cycle to deliver that one high touch “thing” that could be the difference between an easy “no” and a solid “yes” that tips the scale in your direction? I intend to share eight ways you can be high touch in your business to make sure you receive more yeses in your sales cycle.
1. Handwritten Note: Yes, this sounds obvious and you’ve heard it before, but when is the last time you actually sent a handwritten note? One of my favorite partners, tenaciousedge.com, gave me a gift of handwritten notecards that state on the front, “You Are a Salesperson. Be Proud of It.” Can I tell you how much I love sending those handwritten notes to my clients and colleagues with that message on the front? I love it! And I’m sure those who receive them are delighted by the cover and the fact that I took the time to write the note. Your clients will be delighted as well. Take time to think through the look and feel you want your handwritten note to have. And, if you can brand it with your company, even better. We also utilize Send Out Cards to send our customized Sales Camp thank you cards, and those are easy to brand too. I’ve received many emails thanking me for those cards as well.
2. Professional Letter: Years ago I had a proposal out with a large company. I had met with them once and was scheduled to meet again to go over the proposal. Before the meeting I sent them a typed letter signed by me. When I got to that meeting, I saw that my letter, yes my letter, had been pinned to the decision maker’s cork board right by his desk. Let’s just say I got the business. A letter will not only set you apart, but also it will show your prospect how serious you are about doing business with them. And, remember, it’s the reason we chose our new Sales Camp venue.
3. Cactus: Back in the day, one of my sales professionals sent a cactus to the decision maker at a large account he had called at least one hundred times (I’m not kidding). She never responded to him. She already had five or more training vendors lined up in front of him, so she really had no need to reach out. One day, he had that cactus shipped to her and the second she received it, she picked up that darn phone and called him back. He landed thousands of dollars’ worth of business. High touch.
4. Chocolate Foot: I was once in the middle of making a hiring decision on a sales professional and I was truly on the fence and not sure what to do. Out of the blue, I received a package in the mail from one of the prospective sales professionals. In addition to a handwritten note, he had also included a chocolate foot. In his note he wrote how much he had enjoyed his time with me and that he hoped to get his “foot in the door.” I loved his tenacity and willingness to be high touch because I knew if he did it with me, it was likely he would do it with his prospects at our company as well.
5. Phone Call: Sometimes high touch and low tech can be as simple as picking up an old fashioned phone. In this day and age of relying on email and texting so heavily, sometimes people are so surprised when I pick up the phone to call them that it feels super high touch. I had a prospect tell me one time that she couldn’t believe I had called her myself instead of allowing someone on my team to do it. I just said that I wanted to answer her questions and see how I could help. You might be surprised just how high touch a telephone call can be.
6. Referral: Remember the last time you referred a referral that led to one of your top clients? Sending a prospect a client referral, a referral to a strategic partner or even a referral to an event that will make a difference in their business, is super high touch and will set you apart from others. It will show your prospect that you see them as more than just a client; you see them as a company or individual who you really want to help. That’s high touch.
7. Coffee: There are so many ways coffee can be high touch. Coffee is such a staple in our society that we forget the deeper meaning for people. I encourage my clients to stop at a local Starbucks, Caribou (a Minnesota company) or their favorite small coffee house and pick up a drink on their way to their prospect appointment. Remember to ask your prospect ahead of time what kind of drink they’d like. I guarantee they will be blown away when you arrive with their favorite drink. Just think what this shows your prospect. It shows them that you care, you will go out of your way for them, and you also pay attention to details. Why wouldn’t they do business with you? In addition to bringing coffee, I love mailing gift cards for coffee shops because I guarantee your prospect will think of YOU every time they use that card. How do I know? Because I love receiving them and I’ve been given or sent many coffee cards and I think of that person every time.
8. Give: Give something really cool and powerful. I love to give lots of bonus items when people register for Sales Camp, but I’ve noticed the bonus item that our prospects appreciate the most is private coaching with me. It seems to tip the scales with those individuals who are on the fence because, I think, they feel like it’s almost a wash if they can have a coaching session with me to bust through their sales blocks and increase their sales AND then attend Sales Camp. What’s that bonus item you can gift to your prospects that would put them over the edge and deliver high touch value?
Now that I’ve made you think a little more about being high touch in a high tech world, I want you to think about what this means for YOU. What one or two things that I shared with you above can you implement in YOUR sales cycle? If two seems overwhelming, begin with one thing and then expand it from there.
Maya Angelo once said, “People will forget what you did for them, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” We buy based on emotion and then we justify it with logic. A high touch can be that “thing” that not only has an emotional touch, but also helps them justify why they MUST purchase your product or service.