Have you ever been asked what your “love language” is before? It’s a concept that was started by Gary Chapman, who published the book The Five Love Languages — The Secret to Love That Lasts over twenty-five years ago.
In the book, Chapman explains that we all receive love in different ways. For instance, I might feel particularly loved if my partner or friends spend the day with me, while someone else might feel particularly loved when they’re given presents. We all have our preferred ways of giving and receiving love, and the key to fulfilling relationships is making sure that they sync up.
As in life, so in B2B marketing. Behavioral economists have known for years that the way people feel about your company influences whether or not they’ll buy from you. If you can figure out what will make your prospect love your company and your product, then you’ll be able to do some really good and effective marketing. That’s why I decided to look a little closer at Chapman’s five love languages and see how they apply when you’re wooing a customer.
1. Words of Affirmation
Praise is a big deal, whether you’re in a relationship or a buying cycle. In B2B, the ideal situation is one where your current customers are praising your product and your company.
A strong customer advocacy program where participants are encouraged to leave G2 reviews, speak at events, participate in your marketing programs, and act as references in exchange for your love and admiration (and maybe access to beta programs) is a great way to gain credibility in the eyes of your prospects.
The purpose of customer advocacy is twofold: first, it helps with retention, since it makes your customers feel valued and heard. Second, it helps you to win more customers because, like it or not, potential buyers will often value the opinion of a current customer more highly than anything else you can tell them. It’s been found that a 12% increase in customer advocacy can double your revenue growth rate, so it’s definitely worth the time.
2. Acts of Service
If your partner receives love best through acts of service, then cleaning the kitchen or changing their tires should be at the top of your list. If it’s your prospect’s love language, then prioritize workshops to help them with their issues, or pointing them towards useful resources that will make them look really good to their boss. If they need a resource or piece of advice that you don’t have, then ask around your organization to see if someone else can help.
By providing acts of service to your prospect, you’re showing that you’re willing to provide value to them before they become a paying customer. According to Gartner, 88% of account managers believe servicing an account above and beyond expectations is the surest way to grow. So if there’s something you can help them with, then do!
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If someone experiences love through gifts, then give them gifts! Direct mail is a great thing to use here, and what you send can vary based on what they like, what you’re trying to accomplish, and where they are in the sales cycle.
We’re big believers in gifts here at Engagio, and for good reason! 83% of people like receiving packages, even if they’re unsolicited. After all, have you ever said no to a present?
We regularly send people customized gifts as a show of thanks or way to get meetings, show up at prospects’ offices with cookies or a bottle of wine, and hand out swag with reckless abandon at tradeshows and events. It’s definitely one of our love languages when it comes to how we express our affection for prospects, customers, and even employees.
4. Quality Time
When people spend time with your brand, whether it’s by reading a blog, downloading a webinar, or taking a demo, they’re giving you the gift of their time. And in exchange for that time, they expect high-quality content and experiences. 73% of B2B buyers want a personalized, B2C-like buying experience, so the bar is high.
It makes sense, if you think about it. If you’re talking to your friend or partner, you feel more satisfied by the interaction if they’re paying attention to you and actively listening than if they’re distracted and on their phone. It’s the same if you’re a prospect and you’re taking the time to consume content or speak to a sales rep.
If you’re struggling to create touches and experiences that are high-quality, useful to your prospect, and personalized, then it’s worth looking into orchestration and automation to help out.
5. Physical Touch
Partner’s love language is touch = snuggle them.
Prospect’s love language is touch = have a field event!
There’s a lot to be said for interacting with your prospects and customers in person, whether at a tradeshow, a dinner, or even an open-house at your office. 85% of consumers say they’re likely to purchase after participating in an event or experience, which is a great thing to tap into.
With so much of our lives occurring on computer screens, going IRL to get your prospects’ attention is a great way to stand out from the competition. Meet them, shake their hand, and establish a proper human connection before you try to sell to them. Both your prospects and your pipeline will thank you.