Did you make a connection with the customer?
On what level? About what topic?
What are they interested in? What will help them in their Business?... Life?...Travels?
Customers rarely complain verbally about your lack of attention to their needs outside of their sales process. They don't complain to you.
They just work with someone else, and that is their best way of letting you know you did not connect.
Therefore,...we lose many sales because we did not take time to connect.
Sales is about Relationships.
It always has been, and is today - even in the world of technology overload.
In fact, there is even more need for people to perceive a closer relationship with you because of the technology overload, and the improper reliance upon technology to deliver service. (automated voice prompts telling you which number to push are an efficient use of technology - but who likes calling and getting a robot receptionist system? You may actually lose business because of it!)
The temptation is to let technology do all the communicating for you - instead of using technology to support your communications with the customer.
Placing a customer on a valuable email track is good - but it becomes logarithmically more valuable when you have established the relationship with verbal communication at the beginning, and ongoing throughout the process.
You need to ask yourself What Is Valuable To This Specific Customer?
If you take just about 15-20 minutes, you could quickly jot down a list of the few things that are really valuable to different customers.
I'm not talking about people that love dogs, or sports nuts.
I'm talking about things that are more basic, foundational, and profoundly more valuable.
You see, we have to have a foundation of trust in ability before we allow someone to handle our business.
If you want my business, you need to show me you have the abilities to professionally handle my business first. Then we can talk about other things that build relationship.
(Q: You may love your Mom, but you don't let her work on your car. The relationship is high, but there is no confidence that there is an ability to handle the job.)
If we start talking about dogs and sports, I may like our relationship, but may use someone else that I have established a professional relationship to handle my business. While you are trying to connect, the other person is proving they know how to accomplish my needs.
This is the Foundational Relationship connection.
If you want my business, show me you can deliver. If you want to be friends, let's talk about sports and dogs. While you build the friend relationship, you may lose the business.
People that don't establish they are the right person for the job and focus their communication on sports are focusing on the icing, not the cake.
So let's take some simple actions to change and improve our systems.
Take time today to create a list of things that are valuable to:
- All Customers
- Then the different types of customers (and there aren't that many, so it won't take that long)
Once you have your list of things that are important to your customers, start crafting a communication specific to those customers - speak to their need.
This communication will be both verbal and for use in email or print. They may differ slightly because the rules of conversations are different than print when it comes to grammar, slang, etc.
Here's a key starting point: One thing important to all customers is Valuable Communication, and there are so many people that are in this business that are terribly deficient in delivering it! Here's an opportunity for you! How do you communicate the value you can deliver to a customer? What would you say to someone sitting in front of you that needs your service - how would you define or prove your value? Now break that up into different short communications focusing on the key points for each communication. Viola - you now have a campaign!
Once you have a few good ones, start testing them out.
If you have an automated system for putting a customer on a track or compaign of communication, start crafting multiple communications for each customer that speaks to their specific need.
BUT DON'T RELY ON THE EMAIL TO DO YOUR WORK! Email is a low relationship tool.
Add intermittent phone calls or handwritten notes or cards so the person knows you value them enough to spend time - you actually thought about them. People can smell an automated email campaign a mile away. What do you think that does to your relationship with them?
Get Started Today, and let me know if you need some help, or what success you find.
Here's To Your Success!
- Doug Walker