I am often asked to motivate and train sales teams and small business owners in how to generate more sales and improve customer service using less time. Fine. No problem. I'm the champion of using technology better to do all that.
It's quite simple.
Information + Communication x Automation. Another way of putting it is Database + Activity x Technology.
The quick explanation is never let a customer and viable prospect go. Put them in a database with the right information you need to target. Create activity by having a well-rounded communication strategy. One that adds value. Educates. Prompts. Sells.
The final component, automation is that by knowing what your software can do - you can zip the right people from the database and the piece of communication together and create a personalised message - be it email, sms, letter, post on social media. All with a few keystrokes.
Information. Communication. Automation. It sounds, and is easy. Most people think they are doing this, and yes you're right, but there's a fatal flaw in 99 out of 100 cases.
From the self employed to the marketing departments of many of the largest companies, the activity; the communication is only ever focused on clients/prospects that are in the warm/hot zone. What's this you say?
You're an insurance broking firm with 5 brokers. A public relations expert. A software firm with a sales team of seven. A kitchen supply wholesaler. A plumber. A mortgage broker. An optician. When someone needs you, is getting ready to do business with you - they are in the warm and then the hot zone for what you offer, what you do.
But once the transaction has occurred, they've moved to cold. They're satiated until the need comes again. What are you doing with these customers? With your long term (not ready yet) prospects? They can still do business with you in the future if your competition doesn't snare them. They can still generate word of mouth and referrals.
The fatal flaw is how few and far between are the companies; the self-employed that I meet that cater in their marketing/activity/communications to this huge group of people that know them, used them and can bring in more business for them. Or if they do - the communications still revolve around the products / services offered - EVEN THOUGH THESE PEOPLE DON'T NEED IT RIGHT NOW.
In example this is what I do. My marketing strategy is as mentioned, never to let them go (unless they ask of course) and to add value. To make them (the reader) more successful.
I do this through my email newsletter. I ask and then put them on the mailing list. Then this newsletter is sent out monthly with how to's and tips focused on my area of expertise - how to get more done in less time. Three, four articles a month and every now and then a little bit of sales - new book out, small group training etc.
Does it work? Here's a great example: Does your persistence pay off? A story about how a piece of business came in nine years later.
Or how about this? I'd say the proof is in the pudding. I was going to Adelaide for a conference and had an extra day. I went through my database, emailing people I'd like to meet with.
This is one of the replies. Dated 4 June, 2014
"Hi Debbie, Thank you for your email and telephone call. I saw you speak at the annual Australian Steel Convention back in 2003 and I was impressed by the advice and tips you offered during your presentation.......so I signed up for your newsletter. I have enjoyed receiving your newsletters since that time and have also purchased two of your publications."
Eleven years this senior manager has been on my newsletter mailing list. Can you say the same?