It’s good to talk, call, write, e-mail…

Oct 01, 2006

Many businesses spend a small fortune trying to locate, reach, court and sell to millions of prospects yet only succeed in getting dozens or hundreds of those people to do business with them. In other words each client can represent a considerable investment.

As soon as you’ve obtained a client, you have direct access to the single most cost-effective, productive and best source of future business available to you because they’re the most likely people to buy from you again.

After all, by raising their hand and demonstrating their interest in your product or service, your clients have committed themselves to you emotionally and financially. They know you, they trust you and they’ve paid money to you. What a hot list…

The closer you can align yourself with your clients and the more connected, respected, acknowledged and appreciated you make them feel, the more they’ll do business with you. It’s that simple.

Your goal should therefore be to get the highest level of on-going involvement and connection with each of your clients. The cost of doing this can be as small as the price of a phone call or a postage stamp if you intelligently and systematically communicate with your current and past clients, again and again.

The more consistently and personally you communicate with your clients by phone, letter, cards, questionnaires, e-mail or in person, the more they’ll feel you really care. The more you add value and sending them tokens of appreciation such as booklets, reports, CDs, even little notes and newspaper articles about issues you know are important to them, the easier it will be to maintain a positive relationship with them.

As long as you have your clients’ goodwill and don’t overdo it, people not only respond to this constant communication very positively but they also really appreciate it because they feel valued and important. It keeps them informed, offsets any post-purchase doubts, reinforces the reason they’re doing business with you and makes them feel part of your business so that they want to come back again and again.

The resulting higher levels of repeat business and referrals will make your business vastly stronger and more valuable, virtually isolating it from the ravages of the economy and price-cutting competitors.

Companies that stay in constant contact develop a relationship with their clients that results in dramatically more business. We see it every day. The key is not to communicate in an intrusive manner, and to add value, if possible, with every form of contact.

As long as each of your communications has a purpose, is client-focused and conveys something of benefit and value to the recipients, you dramatically increase the chances that you’ll gain the next sale, and the next, and the next…

Can you ‘over-communicate’? Can some communication be a waste of stamps and envelopes? The answer is that when you’re clear on your objectives and those objectives are client-focused, each communication will have a purpose. And therefore it is not ‘over communication’.

To understand the impact of frequent communication you only have to analyse the readers of weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, six-monthly and annual newsletters or magazines. You’ll find that the weekly subscribers read them much more thoroughly and are much more closely bonded to the publication than the less frequent subscribers.

We’ve observed in industry after industry that the more continuous a company’s communication with its clients, the more frequently and substantially those clients buy. The same applies to you.

So how often should you contact your clients? If you are proud of what you do, you should contact them again right after the sale. In some industries this alone results in 50-80 per cent of those clients buying again straightaway. After that, you should contact your clients at least once a quarter to maintain contact and see how they are.

A classic example of constant communication was Joe Girard, who for 12 years was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s “greatest car salesman.” He averaged more than five cars sold every working day – and all were sold to individual clients, not to fleets.

I met him in Detroit in 1986 and learned that his success formula consisted of offering people just two things: a fair price and someone they liked to buy from.

Joe’s technique for becoming so well liked was very simple. Each month he sent every one of his more than 13,000 former clients a greeting card containing a printed message.
The theme of the greeting card changed from month to month (Happy New Year, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy Easter, and so on), but the message printed on the face of the card never varied.

It simply read, “I like you.”

That simple message, which came in the mail 12 times a year, every year like clockwork, was sufficient to make him number one in the world in his field.

For more information, visit www.dspconnect.com

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