Why Authenticity Is the Key to Personalization at Scale
Personalization is one of the most effective tools for any seller.
Yet, scaling it often proves an enormous challenge. Why is that?
Because without authenticity, personalization is meaningless.
To find out why, I turned to the expert on personalization, Nick Casale, Director of Sales at Sendoso, a selling platform facilitating sending just about anything you could imagine to your prospects, customers, or employees.
In this episode, we discuss:
- How Sendoso helps sellers personalize at scale
- Why authenticity is the key to personalization at scale
- How the pandemic underscores the importance of a personal touch
Making it personal
Sendoso gives salespeople another channel for engaging prospects through gifting them personalized items — anything from Starbucks gift cards to a Cameo message from Snoop Dogg.
For a thoughtful salesperson, it’s a tremendously effective route to engagement because there is almost nothing that shows a prospect you know them more than a well-thought-out gift.
Why use a platform?
And while it certainly is possible to send gifts to your prospects yourself — in fact, Nick recommends you try it yourself and see how effective it is for increasing engagement — Sendoso has some clear advantages over the DIY route.
First, you just can’t track your results with as much precision when you do it yourself.
Sendoso requires recipients to opt in to receive their gift, which works as its own maker for engagement.
And now, in the pandemic, recipients also have to confirm their home address — which they do a whopping two thirds of the time — so you have another touchpoint to evaluate.
The other reason a platform helps is, well, when you do it yourself you’ll realize: it’s a massive pain.
That’s one of the challenges most organizations face when trying to scale personalization and Sendoso is very effective at overcoming it.
The bigger challenge
There are all sorts of personalization platforms out there, but most simply don’t work.
Because it’s not really personalized.
If you are filling blank spaces on a template with personalization facts, it’s just not real… a machine could do this. In fact, pretty soon they most likely will.
So, what can you do to defeat the machines? What advantage do humans have over robots?
Well, we can swim in a lake without breaking down and electrocuting all the fish and, more importantly, we can bring authenticity to the table.
“There are so many platforms you can use now for pseudo-personalization at scale. But we challenge our teams and customers to think about authenticity at scale.”
Nick Casale of Sendoso
And this is really why so many organizations struggle with personalization at scale. Their approach is just inauthentic.
People want to buy from people. And they want those people to be real.
What it means to be authentic
So, if you’re following so far, you may be wondering:
How can I be authentic?
Well, I can’t answer that.
And not because authenticity is some vaguely defined buzzword, but because it’s so clearly defined.
Authenticity is about being yourself. It’s leaning into what makes you, well, you.
It’s not about trying to be perfect or fit some model of the kind of person you think people want to engage with. You have flaws — just like all real humans.
You probably heard this a million times as a kid, but it’s still important now: Just be yourself.
“It’s incredibly important to have a diverse team where everyone has their own flavor of authenticity.”
Nick Casale of Sendoso
If you are still confused, try this exercise:
Next time you write an email to a prospect, note how long it takes you. Then compare times with shooting off an email to a close personal friend…
Which one takes longer?
When you send an email to a friend, you’re free to be yourself. You don’t agonize over making everything perfect.
And guess what?
That’s the good news about authenticity: It makes everything easier.
Not up close, still personal
Through the pandemic, most of us have realized how much we took for granted the personal touches — figuratively and literally — from the pre-COVID world.
Yet, in a world where conferences would be a PR disaster and a handshake is something reserved for your worst enemy, personalization is more important than ever.
Doing it effectively at a distance is a difficult task. There are some important considerations if you want to stay personal without getting up close.
And, again, authenticity reigns supreme.
“People are inviting you into their homes now. And sellers have a responsibility to recognize that, appreciate it, and to be real about the fact that things are different.”
Nick Casale of Sendoso
People everywhere are struggling. They’re working from home. Their kids are going to school on Zoom. Their spouse may have lost their income.
Organizations are, too. Revenue may be drying up. They could be facing layoffs.
The worst thing you could do right now is pretend none of this is happening and the world is filled with candy canes and unicorns and smells like fresh-baked cookies.
Things are different. You need to lead with empathy and understanding if you want to continue to engage prospects in this environment.
Just be authentic.