by Kent Moon, President, The Addressers
Most business owners think about their business every day. I know I do. And your employees are generally thinking about your business at least 5 days a week.
But there is a very important group of people who do not think about your business every day – your customers or clients. They are thinking about their businesses.
This aspect of the customer mindset may be unfortunate, but it is the way of the world. But that does not mean one should shrug one’s shoulders or curse the lack of steadfast attention among these hardworking folks. Not only do such actions fail to change the condition within the customer base, they usually have an adverse effect on both blood pressure and revenue.
It is a generally accepted truth that it is far easier to sell to an existing customer than to someone who has never heard of you. But customers rarely have need of your product or service every day. Or even every week, sometimes not even every month. Most likely they will need it again at some point and this is when you make your second or sixty-fourth sale. Customer forgetfulness can impact your business right there, especially if some fast talking salesman from a competitor slips in your customer’s door at the wrong time.
The key to keeping customers is ongoing communication from you. Skillfully handled, ongoing communication keeps your name and your value in front of the customer, increases good will and the chance that he will dial your number when he needs your product or service. It also provides an opportunity to inform the customer of the other products and services you offer. Newsletters that include information of value with regard your industry or the customer’s have been successfully used by many. But that is far from the only form of communication that can be of value.
“Oh, that is what email is for.” I hear some readers thinking. Email has many uses and its speed and cost structure are impressive. But email is ephemeral. Even if it avoids the delete key, it has no weight, no lasting power. If it can’t be read as it comes up on the screen, it is gone. It will rarely be saved for later review.
Direct mail is the way to communicate to customers. First and foremost you have their correct address. Second, there is often sufficient recognition to get the mail opened. And if it can’t be read immediately, your chances of it being saved for later in the day or later in the week are at least 100 times better than email.
One important part of the formula for keeping customers is the word “ongoing”. You have to mail more than once, and the more regularly you mail, the better.
What you mail is up to you. Newsletters, testimonials from other clients, customer satisfaction surveys, news about new products or services – all these and more are possible.
If your shoulders are still inclined to shrug after having read this far, I want you to think of that fast talking salesman employed by your competitor and his or her persistent efforts to identify and then steal away your customers. That should bring about the inclination to act.
Wishing you the best of luck.