The adage, “Out of sight, out of mind” is more true today than ever. It is nearly impossible to avoid the barrage of messages, communication and people who are vying for our time and attention. The same is true of your customers and prospective customers. If you are not regularly communicating with your customers you will be forgotten. Even your existing customers are being solicited by competitors and it may not be enough to count on your work to speak for itself.
There are a number of actions you can take to counter these conditions and build your presence, which in turn can build your business.
1) Mailings – A consistent mailing campaign can be expensive, but can also be a critical part of your overall communications campaign. Oversized Postcards can be a way to gain some top-of-mind awareness. While there was a time when you could expect a few calls from a postcard mailing effort, today that is less likely to occur. However, even if someone throws away your postcard, it is still having a powerful awareness effort. If you leave it there, you will have wasted your mailing effort, but the following steps can have a powerful additive affect.
Plan to mail your postcards to the same potential customers 3 times. Yes, this is expensive, but you will be amazed at the multiplying power of repeat exposures to your name and message. Mail the second postcard about four days after the first has been mailed, and even before they arrive begin calling these customers and reference your mailing. Leave a voicemail because they will hear it and will have just viewed or will soon see your postcard. After you have been through your list once, only mail the third card to voicemails or those who were not an immediate no. You goal with the call is to secure an appointment to speak with the doctor.
For existing customers, we recommend including at least one mailer a year that is NOT connected to your invoicing. A personal letter given them a bit of news about your business and thanking them for their business can go a long way toward building loyalty and connecting your existing customers to your business.
2) Email newletters – While these can be a lot of work, they can also be a powerful way to stay connected to your existing customers. We recommend at least four times a year, with some businesses having the ability to do this monthly. The best email newsletters include valuable information your customers can use. Industry information, links to new technology, even a coupon can help connect your customers to you. The coupon or special promotion can help generate readership. If you refer to the newsletter promotion, it will give people an incentive to read the next one you send.
3) Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and many others can be powerful locations for communicating your message. Be honest with yourself about this though, some people are good at being pithy, others not so much. Do not look for the quick hit here. It is not necessary to have everyone and their brother see your postings, musings, pictures, and jokes. You are trying to reach the One Person who you have targeted. When you do, all your critical prospects and customers will likely begin to find you.
4) Consider sponsoring community events – you might think this does not match with our One Person idea. Many of your customers and prospective customers may not ever know about your sponsorship…unless you tell them. You might feel funny about bragging about your sponsoring the local little league team or soccer club, or about being a sponsor at the annual town coast roast, but if you think these organizations are important to your One Person, then they will want to know about your helping build local community. Again, the value of this messaging is building awareness and connecting your business with your customers. On the flip-side, it is important to give back to the community, but if you sponsor this team or event and fail to announce it, then you better really like it because no one else will know about it.
That’s all for now. Check back for more communication tips soon.