Staying Personally Connected to Online Customers
This time of year and gratitude seem to go hand-in-hand. As business people we reflect on the past year’s sales and all our clients throughout the year. It’s important to let them know how much you appreciate them by a simple “thank-you.” I watched a TED talk video by Dr. Laura Trice a while back about the power of praise, admiration and saying thank-you. She had two main points regarding this topic (https://www.ted.com/talks/laura_trice_suggests_we_all_say_thank_you/up-next).
Her first point was that most of us really do want to hear someone thank us. Not that we need a flashing billboard in our honor, but being appreciate is one of those things that motivates us and a little can go a long way. Secondly, she says we need to make it clear when we want to be appreciated. You know as well as I do that our customers use their “voice” in this area by not doing business with us anymore. How many times have you left a situation because you felt underappreciated?
Maybe you have heard businesses refer to the acronym “CRM”. Maybe you even know what it means, but do you really know what it means to have Client Relationship Management software? Let’s break it down:
Managing client relationships is the first step in any business and has been since the first business was opened. Although, today’s business world offers more opportunities to connect with customers near and far, it is often overlooked more than ever before. It’s easy to become disassociated with our customers when we don’t meet them face-to-face, which is why utilizing a good CRM software is vital to your businesses success.
Many businesses assume that just because they’re not in the retail business that they don’t need to plan for the holidays. The fact of the matter is that it’s possible for all businesses to take full advantage of the holidays. While you may not see the dramatic spike in sales as the traditional retailer, you can capitalize on the most wonderful time of year. For example, my family is in the new residential construction business and people aren’t exactly sleeping in tents outside our office on Black Friday. Actually, I would be willing to bet that building a new home is probably at the very bottom of their list when they’re checking the Target ads.
Do you need more foot traffic? If so, a local search strategy is for you. Simply advertising through the traditional medium is no longer the smartest or best strategy. Today you need a good mix of local advertising, an online presence that functions both globally and locally. When is the last time you used a phone book…yeah, I don’t know either.
How many of you miss the 4,000 daily postcards you received during the last election? Yeah, I don’t either. Now, when we’re talking about distribution materials, please don’t think about the last political campaign! Although, you must admit, political campaigns spend thousands observing their target audience and generally get it right which leads me to believe they think it is beneficial to invest money in those postcards. Either that or it’s like a monkey see, monkey do kind of thing. Regardless, they don’t want to miss an opportunity to get their name in front of you. Long before the social media marketing and quality websites, my husband and I built our businesses on old-fashioned distribution marketing.
This is an interesting topic for me as I’ve been doing charity work for as long as I can remember and getting free media coverage is the name of the game. Nonprofits typically have little to no money, hence the reason for fundraising and we surely don’t have money in the budget for media coverage. I do not claim to be an expert in this field, but I do have a few pointers on the best ways to get media coverage. I should preface this by telling you that my daughter happens to be a news producer for one of the local news stations, but that is not how I learned the ins and outs of getting the best media coverage. Although, she might be interested in covering one of my events or businesses, she still has to present it to her bosses as well as the news talent to see if it is something newsworthy for them. Speaking of newsworthy….that is the key to getting media coverage. Now that we’ve established the key to success, what are the steps that will help get you there? Let’s take a closer look.
Newsletter – “a written report, issued periodically, typically by a business, institution, or other organization, that presents information and news to people with a specific interest in the organization or subject” (http://www.dictionary.com).
Hmm…well when you put it that way it sounds a little old-fashioned. Old-fashioned or not, the fact of the matter is that a properly written newsletter works with a little modern-day tweaking. Fortunately, gone are the days of actually printing, labeling and mailing hundreds of hard copy newsletters. I can remember vividly doing this for one of my businesses years ago before emailing was the preferred method. Oh how I dreaded that day of the month. I loved writing the content but the printing and preparing for mailing made it an audacious task. It’s so much simpler these days. From the receiving end, there’s no more keeping up with the hard copy and not having it with you when you need it.