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Still Provide the Personal Sales Touch in the Digital Era

October, 2018

Overall, the Digital Era has been inspiring, fast and inescapable. It is quite amazing how far we’ve come in such a short period of human history. So many of the things we take for granted weren’t even in the realm of possibility just a few decades ago. Today, shoppers can usually learn anything about any product with just a click. Consequently, they do a significant amount of online research before making a purchase.In the last two issues of Industry Insights, we discussed the many benefits of digital marking for sales in the fast-paced Information Age we live in. In this issue, we are actually going to talk about one of the “cons” of online sales and how that “con” can be easily turned into a major “pro” when selling PVC electrical pipe, fittings, boxes and accessories.

So what is the big negative or “con” that we face in the wide-open world of digital sales?

While most shoppers have become accustomed to the immeasurable amount of product information available on the internet and the ease of purchasing online, many consumers miss the personal sales touch of previous decades. 

“While the digital space has certainly brought the world closer together, it has also created a distance between the consumer and the company,” according to Forbes. 1

It is important to remember in this rather cold Digital Era, many customers purchasing PVC electrical pipe, fittings, elbows or boxes, may be craving a more personal touch and experiencing a human contact void, which they want filled. The good news is that more digital doesn’t need to be less personal if you apply some of the important “human touch marketing tips” below. The even better news is that if you become a pro at “personal touch sales” in the impersonal Information Age, you can fill a void that will lead to sales and foster on-going relationships.


•  Be present in the community made up of those involved in your industry.    

According to a recent Forbes article “Five Techniques Top Leaders Use to Close Sales in the Digital Age,” a good technique for bridging the gap between a company’s online space and the customer’s need for the human touch is to maintain a presence in your community. According to the Forbes article, Social Media is a great place to interact with and get to know what customers want and how you can meet their needs.2

In the world of Electrical Distribution for PVC electrical products like pipe, fittings and electrical boxes, another great way to be present in the community is to participate in industry events where end-users are actively seeking face-to-face interaction. Similarly, even if you have the best online information ever, it is crucial to have compassionate, knowledgeable, likable customer service people available to address questions and concerns. Let’s face it, some issues can only be fixed with the help of a human. Always remember that top sales people are great listeners; they know that all people want to feel like you care about their needs. 

“While prospects can download content until their fingers cramp from clicking, nothing beats a knowledgeable person invested in listening to their needs and sharing thoughts on solutions,” according to Technology Sales Leads, a leading technology marketing firm.3

A chat function on your website, which is staffed with friendly and knowledgeable staff members, can also help keep the door to human communication open. Some shoppers simply like to know that they can contact a human being when they need one.

•  Operate in integrity and build trust.

Always be sincere in your communication and try to keep promises. When you can’t keep a promise, be transparent about it; you can easily turn the situation into a positive by offering valid alternatives. By working hard to give customers options, you will gain the reputation of a relationship-oriented company that goes above and beyond to meet people’s needs.

•  Customize your website text and images with a human feel.

The loyalty of a customer is closely linked to the personal connection they feel to a company. One-on-one contact can be time consuming, so it is great to know that personal connections don’t always need to come from speaking directly to customers. You can also engage your audience with your unique story. Create a personal connection using website text and images. Simply tell your customers a little bit about yourself to create human interest. For example, if your company has an interesting history, is a family owned business, or is involved in the community, tell potential customers so they will want to become part of your story. 

•  Use online navigation tools to help customers find information.

Show customers you care about them by making it easy for them to find what they need on your website.  Arrange information according to their needs. For example, a Resource Page with your downloadable product brochures helps customers find the product information quickly. To find out if your website navigation needs improvement, just visit your website and look at it from the customer’s perspective.

•  Get personal (pun intended)!

According to the Sandler sales training organization, 95% of marketers say that face-to-face communication is essential for long-term business relationships.  Subsequently, in this Information Age sales world, which has lost much of the human element, a hand-written note or an email with your personal touch, can quickly help establish a good relationship. Similarly, checking in on a customer’s experience after a purchase with a quick call will show them you want to maintain a dialogue and you care enough to help fill the “personal touch void” of the digital world. As a result, you may wind up with a customer for life.

In an article called the “The Secret to Making It in the Digital Sales World: The Human Touch,” marketing and research experts McKinsey & Company call the combination of great digital marketing and good personal interaction  the “hat trick” of sales in the Information Age.5 Combining all the wonderful technological sales tools of Digital Era with a little “old-fashioned” human contact is a win-win for sales to day. Whether sending a hand written note or delivering a gift basket, going above and beyond the present-day norm with a little human interaction will help you stand out. So take the human touch void or “con” of the Information Age and turn into a “pro” and valuable sales tool with some good, “old-fashioned” personal communication.

According to McKinsey & Company research, “Companies that add the human touch to digital sales consistently outperform their peers. They achieve five times more revenue, eight times more operating profit, and, for public companies, twice the return to shareholders. “6

1. Five Techniques Top Leaders Use To Close Sales In The Digital Age, Forbes.com
2. Five Techniques Top Leaders Use To Close Sales In The Digital Age, Forbes.com
3. 7 Traits of Highly Successful Sales Professionals in the Digital Age, tslmarketing.com
4. How to Keep Communication Personal in the Digital Age, www.sandler.com
5. The Secret to Making It in the Digital Sales World: The Human Touch, www.mckinsey.com
6. The Secret to Making It in the Digital Sales World: The Human Touch, www.mckinsey.com