Do you never notice how excited people become when they discover they are from the same hometown as you? Shared experiences and feelings are an incredibly effective way to establish a connection with your customers and close new business.

Recently, I was speaking with a prospect and he mentioned that he’s from Cleveland. I immediately said “Me too, “and felt more connected to this particular prospect. This lead to a conversation about high schools, colleges, mutual connections, and the pain of being a Cleveland sports fan. Without this shared experience, there is a good chance that we wouldn’t have connected beyond the typical surface level professional interaction.

I find it amazing that as soon as you find that commonality, any walls that might have previously existed start to be torn down. Within moments the tone of the conversation changes and a deeper bond begins to take root. These connections take you from being a complete stranger to being close friends.

This paradigm can be incredibly helpful to explore while selling. I would recommend that you use this approach and learn a bit about your potential customers. In our increasingly digital world we have access to a deep well of information online and should use this information to our advantage whenever possible.

Social media provides enough information for you to potentially determine some things that you and your customer have in common. Perhaps you went to the same college, spent time living in the same city, are from the same hometown, worked with the same company, or have shared connections. All of this information can be useful when looking for that shared connection.  Personally, I find LinkedIn to be the most helpful but I’ve also used Facebook and other methods.

Occasionally, I’ll even prospect and find someone that went to my alma maters. As soon as I tell them where I went to college, I hear those words again “Me too!”   Within moments the connection with this prospect becomes a bit more personal, allowing for a less strained conversation. This hopefully opens the door a little bit wider so that a sale can make its way through.

It’s also common that you can’t quite discover a shared connection or experience through your customer’s social media profile or website. Another great approach is to find content that your prospect has created or even shared, and that resonates with you. Try establishing a connection through that content. Perhaps your prospect has their own blog, you saw an interview about them on YouTube, they mentioned they read a new book on their social media page, etc.

I would strongly recommend that you try taking this approach on your next cold call or cold email, while looking to unlock that “me too” moment. If there is a shared experience or connection to be found, I can almost guarantee you’ll see higher response rates.

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