Communicating the Sale: Smarter, Faster, Better
Making sales—that is the key to any business. For some businesses, making the actual sale comes easy, but for others it can be a long, drawn-out process. No matter what business you’re in, likely you’re trying to do things more efficiently in order to maximize your time, and maximize your sales.
The key to any successful business is building a base of loyal customers, and continuing to communicate to your base on a consistent basis—offering value, information, and access. The reason you do so is to remain top of mind when your customer is ready to buy. For example, if you have a list of 1,000 loyal customers in your database, each time you market to your list you will always generate sales. The percentage of sales will vary depending on the product or service you sell, but it is a fact that when you offer value first there will be return. This is not a marketing fact, or a gimmick—this is a fact of life, which has been known and communicated by great thinkers and philosophers for thousands of years (as ye sow, so shall ye reap).
Your job is to find a system to hold your data, and a strategy to communicate your message, which best fits your business. As a rule of thumb, communicate at least one per month to your list, but do not communicate too often either— that is unless your customer requests a greater frequency, or if your business model is a daily deal, etc.
Keeping Tabs on Your Competitor
It’s okay to keep an eye on what your competitor is doing, but communicating to your customers with a weekly newsletter, or e-zine (electronic magazine) should be a reflection of your business. There is no need to try and keep up with what your competitor is does, rather let them be concerned with what you do. Once you begin to talk to your customers on a regular basis they will come to expect to receive e-mails, e-zines, or random promotions from you. Be alert that your competitors will likely sign up to receive communications from you, and will know your every move.
Below is a list of FIVE (+1) Tips to become Smarter, Faster, Better with communicating with your customers:
- Find “database management software”, which will offer you all of the tools you’ll need to communicate with your customers. Do a Google search for sales database management, CRM software, or best sales database.
- Load all existing contacts into the system and continue to gather e-mail address and other important information from your customers on an on-going basis.
- Develop your strategy for customer communications. Decide the amount of times you will contact your base in advance, and build a marketing calendar around your strategy. Be sure to plan in advance, but always allow for breakthrough communications when appropriate.
- It’s always a good idea t survey your list, or a portion of your list to see what you may want to change, or do better. Customers appreciate the opportunity to provide their input, therefore give tem a platform to do so and take away important feedback in the process.
- Once there is enough history in your system about your customers, begin to segment the list in order to send out specific communications relevant to that group. For example, you may segment your list into three parts: frequent, average and dormant. This will also let your customers know you are in tune to who they are.
(+1) The bonus item is to always respect the privacy of your customers. Provide easy access to enroll, and easy access to opt-out of e-mail communications should your customer decide to do so.
Once you decide to make the commitment to communicate with your customers on regular basis, you will wonder why you didn’t make the commitment until now. Staying in touch, providing easy access, and knowing you’re your customers on a one-to-one basis is the essence of sales. How you go about it is up to you, but making the effort is the first step to becoming smarter, faster, and better than you were before.
Roger L. Brooks is a trusted authority, and helps his clients build successful customer loyalty strategies. He is also the author of The Power of Loyalty: 10 Essential Steps to Build a Successful Customer Loyalty Strategy, and creator of Dose of Loyalty, a free monthly e-Zine. Roger can be reached at email@example.com.
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