The Internet has made marketing so incredibly easy and accessible to the masses, but if you’re going to stand out in today’s market, you’d better make sure you go the extra mile. Pick up the phone.
In fact, if your business is such that you can actually answer the phone yourself, without the menu jungle, you’ll be so far ahead of your competition they won’t even be in the same field.
When else can you use the phone?
- When something changes. Has your offering changed? Has the industry changed? Has a particular situation affecting your client or yourself changed?
- When you discover something new. Have you realized something you didn’t know before that will help your client? Have you found a new product or system that would be of benefit to your client?
- When you need fresh input. Are you working on developing a new product or service that might be of use to your client? Call and ask them for feedback on your proposal as to what they are missing at present or what they would find most helpful.
- When you need to keep the client “in-the-loop”. Are you working through a process that takes time, like an investment offering or a legal case? Instead of leaving your clients hanging, give them a regular two-minute update call, enabling them to keep tabs on your progress. This helps them to feel involved, assures them that you’re watching out for them and that the case is proceeding on schedule.
- To go the extra mile. Did someone purchase something from you? Call them up and find out how they like it. Ask them if they have an issue. Do they need a bigger size? A different model? An accessory to go with it? Do a search and call them back with the information. As memory serves, I’ve had only one company call me to confirm my satisfaction, which tells me that this kind of calling is an untapped opportunity for someone out there, especially a smaller company who isn’t separated from their buyer by miles of middlemen. Do this and your customer’s mild amazement will be a powerful motivator. When your clients start to mention you, the company who takes tender care of them, to their family and friends, people will be moving their accounts faster then you can say,”mass hysteria”.
I’ll wrap this up and show you how incredibly simple this is, by telling you what just happened. Talk about happy serendipty! I’m hyper-focused writing about the importance of a phone call and the phone rings. It’s our dog’s groomer (www.caninecountry.ca). It’s 9:10 in the morning and I was supposed to have the dog there by 9:00. For some reason, I hadn’t yet shown sufficient love to my iPod and I missed the reminder.
I don’t otherwise miss appointments, but the dog groomers obviously aren’t that special to me. I typically remember the appointment two weeks after it’s passed and no one has ever called me from there before. Here are the problems with that:
1. We only book an appointment when my Bichon Shih Tzu starts bumping into walls or can no longer catch treats, because his hair’s so long he can’t see. If I miss an appointment at my busy groomers, the poor thing is tripping over fur before I can get him booked in again. Put the phone down, please. There’s no need to contact PETA. Rest assured, in all other matters this dog is spoiled!
2. My very busy groomer finds herself with holes in her day that could have been filled with paying customers.
Because she took two minutes to pick up the phone and call, I jumped in the car and had the dog there in 10 minutes. She had a full day, I had a groomed dog and we both avoided the hassle of re-booking. It’s just a phone call, people!
Tips for getting started right away:
- Look through your list for a client or prospect that is celebrating something – did their son just graduate? Have they been dry for 365 days? Did they get a promotion? Give them a call to congratulate them. Start keeping track of these kinds of events in your clients’ lives in order to use them as a basis for a friendly touch from you.
- Is there someone on your list who’s under the weather? Are they undergoing some kind of treatment or getting some medical testing done? Have they recently experienced a loss? Call them to encourage them.
- Is there anyone you can give a quick reminder call to?
Take a minute right now to check through your contacts and find a couple of people you can give a call to.
Does the thought scare you? Overwhelm you? Not sure where/how to start? Well, call us at 403-374-0167 and let’s brainstorm some ideas for getting started!
(note: Part of this article is reprinted with permission from the upcoming book “The Nectar Effect” by Darlene Hull and Polly Mayforth Krause