Could you use a few more voices talking about your business?
Your current database of customers is your gold mine for new business, for key referrals, and your best environment for prospecting new clients.
Bill has a one-time experience with a AAA Plumbing back in January. In May, a new neighbor moves into town and discovers a leaky faucet. John walks over to Bill and asks the question, “Hey Bill, do you know a good plumber?”
At that moment, Bill is faced with 2 challenges:
- Bill is busy and certainly hasn’t been thinking “plumber” as often as AAA Plumbing does on a daily basis. (their company name is not top-of-mind to Bill)
- Bill is bombarded with ads in his mailbox for AAA Plumbing, AAB Plumbing and ABA Plumbing. In his clutter, he just might forget which one was his favorite (don’t they all sound alike?)
In the end, Bill says something wishy-washy like “well, there was this plumber I used back after the first of the year; can’t remember if they were AAA, AAB or ABA Plumbing. They were good but there might be others, too. Why don’t you just Google it and find out what plumbers get the best reviews? “ Very likely (unless AAA Plumbing has really done their work on getting the most online reviews), they just lost a sale. And this is all taking place in the front lawn of your customers. Or at the beauty shop. Coffee shop. On Facebook. In the car. Wherever people talk and share ideas, this is where decisions are being made.
How engaged are you?
Here are 3 simple ways to be active with your customers (especially past clients who already know the value of your services):
- DRIP. DRIP. DRIP. Email marketing is still one of the best ways to stay in front of your customers on a consistent basis. You don’t have send out an email a day. Actually if you have contact with your database every 15 days or so, you’ll remain top-of-mind. I can’t tell you how many people opted into our database who later became paying clients – although it was often 6-9 months later when they were ready to do business. Staying in front of your customers keeps your name at the forefront of their thinking. That’s very useful in case they have a need or a friend walks over on a Saturday morning looking for a plumber.
- LUNCH ‘N LEARN. Face-to-face meetings continue to show value in building a strong referral system, even in a digital age. Whether over lunch or a late-evening coffee, sometimes your best time spent is not in trying to sell, sell, sell . . . but rather talking with past clients or strategic partners about their needs. Pour into them and they will respond with generosity. When you put down the sales hat and just share your counsel, you are building know-like-trust with them – and they have another positive experience with you. And because they didn’t have to pay for it, there is likely a greater perceived ROI because they don’t subtract what they got from what they paid. Choose these times to learn how you can better serve them. You’re gonna get some great ideas from people wanting to see you succeed. And I bet a few referrals.
- HANG OUT WHERE THEY DO. Having a Facebook Page is absolutely essential for any business. To NOT have one seems like such a waste to me, especially when it is a FREE piece of real estate on the same “campus” as this massive social networking site of 400m+ users. Your customers (past and current) are likely already on Facebook – talking about their kids’ graduation, connecting with friends around the world, and expressing their “likes” of various groups and organizations. Why not engage with them where they are? Customizing your business’ Facebook Page (we still call them “Fan Pages” because I “like” it better than the new “like” terminology) is an easy way to showcase your products and services, showcase your unique differences, share stories of other customers and engage with them as they interact on your Page. Invite them to go on a scavenger hunt around your Page, open up the secure coupon, or to watch this month’s special video message from the owner of the company. Simply writing messages to them on the wall is the default mode of communication on Facebook Pages and presents a lackluster communication approach. You can stand out in the crowd and wow your “fans” by using your customized Page to have them stay connected to you. When you customize your Page, you are giving your fans a great tool that will inspire them to share with their friends on their own status updates, with a tag over to your Page. Wouldn’t you love to be AAA Plumbing and see these comments?
- “Check out AAA Plumbing‘s funny video message this month – these guys are great to work with!”
- “I love AAA Plumbing and you can also get a 20% off coupon for “liking” their Page – check them out!”
- “Hey everyone, I had a terrible thing happen today – my kitchen sink started leaking all over the kitchen floor. I picked up my iPhone, opened up Facebook, and went to AAA Plumbing‘s Page and found their number so quickly. Who needs the Yellow Pages?! They were super fast.”
Engage! When you do, you are systematically creating powerful ambassadors.
(If you are on FB, please “like” this post below)
image source: metroactive.com