What is Propinquity?

The goal of digital marketing is to create propinquity. That means you are creating positive brand exposure. This could be for both your corporate brand as well as your personal brand.

Propinquity is a term that comes from the Latin propinquitas which means “nearness”. In social psychology, it is one of the main factors that lead to interpersonal attraction.

For Marketing purposes, we use the term to refer to the familiarity generated through the ever-presence of a brand. There is a comfort created by exposing customers to a brand regularly. Think about large brands that sponsor sports teams. Their goal is to create comfort with a brand versus trying to sell anything specific.

In Sales, propinquity is the key to generating trust. Some industries require their sales team to make regular visits bearing donuts. In business-to-business sales, at a minimum, a Sales professional needs to keep a list of his/her top 20 customers and top 5 prospects near his/her desk. Making regular calls, sending personalized emails and visiting once a month is key.

Propinquity in Sales is where narrowcast and broadcast marketing intersects. If broadcast communication is advertising and narrowcast communication is one on one, belly-to-belly meetings, then propinquity in Sales is achieving familiarity and branding through one-on-one communication regularly and reliably.

Propinquity Best Practices – Top 10

Here are some best practices to achieve Propinquity in Sales.

  1. Create a “Defend” list of your top 20 customers
  2. Consciously send them a personalized communication every month at a minimum
  3. Make it your business to know when their birthdays are, and send them a simple note to wish well once a year.
  4. Send a note for all job promotions and work anniversaries.
  5. Endorse them personally for their top 3 skills on LinkedIn.
  6. Write a sincere recommendation.
  7. Engage in value-added content on LinkedIn by liking, sharing, and commenting.
    • Stay away from politics.
  8. Send a handwritten thank you card after key meetings.
  9. Put brochures in the mail quarterly
  10. Send “Did you know” emails monthly building awareness around all the products and services your company offers.

How to Create Propinquity with Defend Customers

Each Sales professional should have a list of his/her top 20 customers at his/her desk. These are customers from which 80% of their annual business comes. It is important to stay in front of your most valued customers. If you are not creating propinquity on a regular schedule with those who are responsible for your paycheck, you are risking losing the customer to your competition.

See below for a general guideline on creating propinquity with B2B Defend customers.

Propinquity – Defend Schedule

ACTIVITYWEEKLYMONTHLYQUARTERLYANNUALLY
LinkedIn Post Engagement 3 times
Phone calls X
Emails X
LinkedIn Messaging X
Product Postcards X
Brochures X
Greetings Card X
Birthday Greeting X
Line Card X
LinkedIn Skills Endorsement X

Creating Propinquity with Attack Customers

Every Sales professional, in addition to having list of (20) Defend customers at his/her desk, will also have a list of (5) Attack customers. These are the customers one’s competitors value most dearly. If you are a market share driven industry, it crucial to growing your customer list by targeting your competition’s Defend list.

Here is a guide on how to achieve propinquity with your competitor’s most valued customers.

Propinquity – Attack Schedule

ACTIVITYWEEKLYMONTHLYQUARTERLYANNUALLY
LinkedIn Post Engagement 3 times
Phone calls X
Emails X
LinkedIn Messaging X
Product Postcards X
Brochures X
Greetings Card X
Birthday Greeting X
Line Card X
LinkedIn Skills Endorsement X

The Challenge of Being a Sales Manager

In addition to hiring talent, training them, measuring performance, and celebrating the high-performers, one of the key responsibilities of every Sales manager is to ensure each Sales professional engages in propinquity inducing narrowcast communication with his/her customers. This can seem exhausting and sometimes overwhelming.

Many times, Sales professionals do not recognize their own lack of propinquity. A lack of awareness will usually lead to a lack of commitment to changing their communication approach.

Increase Communication for Increased Sales Results

Show me a breakdown in performance and I will show you a breakdown in Communication.

Sales managers, when coaching Sales professionals under her care will often hear, “I am too busy. There are not enough hours in the day.” Trying to change communication habits in the face of such resistance can be challenging to say the least.

In these situations, the Sales manager can feel stuck. S/he knows that the key to increased performance is increased communication, but s/he is met with an unwilling or incapable Sales team in changing the communication status quo. Frustration or apathy ensues.

Sales manager frustrated with her head down on her desk
It can be frustrating. We are here to help.

Need Help?

Lean Inc. specializes in helping business-to-business Sales professionals create propinquity, using our narrowcast communication tools. We have the experience of knowing how difficult coaching Sales professionals to embrace communication best practices can be.

That is why we advocate for Sales Managers to remove the burden of propinquity from their Sales team’s shoulders and perform the customer engagement for them.

Lean Inc. provides highly customized, and narrowcast B2B customer engagement for the Sales Professional. We stay engaged with the customer so that the Sales professional can concentrate on closing deals.

WATCH OUR VIDEO: Sales Engagement

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