Reconnecting With Your Market
In an age when the ubiquity of email, social media, meeting invites, conferences and trade shows seems overwhelming, it is more important than ever to connect meaningfully and consistently with your target market.
Despite the fact that there are these options and more to connect and reconnect you with your current and potential customers, more and more businesses are seeing a lull in the engagement with their core base of contacts. What is the most effective way to keep your market engaged? How do you stand out from the rest and maintain an ongoing conversation with the people who keep your business alive?
While there is no one way to connect or reconnect with your market base, there are a few key actions that can be applied to your communications with those who make your business what it is. Before you jump in and take on all or just one of these actions, take time to understand what it is your customers look for when engaging with you and your brand. While there will be similarities between brands and businesses, it is important to understand what people are really looking for from you so you don’t waste precious resources on actions you don’t need to be doing.
Survey your market
One of the easiest ways to eliminate the risk of miscommunication that is involved with a lot of initial marketing strategies is to survey your existing clients to find out more about what they expect from you. Once your customers’ needs are known, you can steer your offerings towards filling these needs. They are also a great tool to bring in prospective or hot leads who are on the fence about a product or service. By offering prospective sales a chance to have a say, and even receive a discount upon completion, you are offering them the opportunity to state their concerns before buying and you have gained insight into how to best finalise that sale.
You can create any type of survey quickly and easily using various software available for download from the internet. Try Survey Monkey and find out how easy it is to find out what your customers are looking for from you.
If you have the capability to send out a newsletter, then you should be doing this on a semi-regular basis. A high quality newsletter will have quality, easy-to-read information that speaks to the interests and concerns of the audience you are sending it to. The reader should be able to ascertain in a number of seconds what the theme of your newsletter is, what useful articles are within it and what links they wish to follow for further reading.
Don’t forget to make your newsletter social media friendly! Include pivotal share buttons for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ wherever appropriate. You never know when a customer sharing a particular link online will lead to your next prospect.
There are plenty of cost-effective email marketing tools available including MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. Start by investigating the capabilities that are out there that you can use to speak more effectively to your client base.
Blog about it
Blogs (like this one) are an excellent way to stay in front of your customers and on their radar. An active blog will keep your customers not only reading it, but also hopefully engaging and responding to the material you put up there. It creates a positive flow of communication and assists in making your customers feel more of a part of what you do day-to-day.
Send personalised correspondence
Sending timely emails is one thing, but it is another to engage with your customers in a more meaningful and one-on-one basis. Getting something physical in the mail is becoming such a thing of the past that it can be used to jolt a different type of response from your customer base. Sending a personalised reminder of their membership lapsing if you have such a program can generate a much more engaged response than a mass email send out. Similarly, receiving a card from you on the anniversary of when they became a client of yours or any other special occasion will let them know that you have put thought and effort into the correspondence, making them feel valued.
Converse to the mail in the letterbox is the SMS direct to the phone. Almost everyone is carrying some type of mobile device around on them, making it the perfect way to communicate to busy clients who may not have the time or inclination to read through their cluttered email correspondence. The use of SMS/text messages is instant, cost effective and tried and tested.
Empower your salespeople
Empowering your salespeople doesn’t stop at encouraging them to finalise the next sale – it includes everything from training, to the integration of technology into their approach all the way through to going above and beyond in their customer service. A lot of the work to do with your salespeople will come down to talent management of the people who truly believe in what you do and sell. Much of the resource management will come down to the ability they have to contact your customer base and provide real-time information that answers their questions and keeps them coming back again and again. Ensuring that you are organised and equipped to field any query that may come your or your salespeople’s way is pivotal to maintaining a true level of trust in what you do.
If you and your top people are looking to gain more insight into how to remain ahead of the curve in an increasingly competitive marketplace, investigate your options for further training and development.
There is nothing like the human touch! While it is very important to maintain contact with your clients/customers via correspondence, very little compares to actually scheduling a meeting to reconnect. Identify your key clients – understand their purchasing habits, revisit their motives for working with you and remind yourself of why it is that they are your clients. Chances are that one of the key reasons is the relationship you have with each other.
Strengthen this relationship by taking time to meet with your clients on a reasonably regular basis. As so few people are doing this, you will stand out from the crowd.