Seasoned and successful small business owners know the value of showing up in their customers’ lives. Because the more their customers see them, the more they buy.
There’s even a term for it – frequency. According to Entrepreneur.com, customers have to hear your message three times before they even think about buying, which makes frequency one of the most important activities of the dedicated business person.
Remember, your prospects buy when THEY are ready to buy, not when you’re ready to make the sale. (Hence, frequency is king because you have got to be in front of them when they ARE ready to buy and hopefully you’ve developed a bit of a relationship through your frequent contact in the process.)
The key point is that many of your prospects haven’t purchased yet because the timing wasn’t right. Tons of people assume those are “bad” leads, but actually they’re really great leads that just need a little time. If you don’t follow up with them frequently, they’ll get scooped up by your competitor who happens to pass by them when they’re ready to buy.
Often entrepreneurs achieve frequency through expensive ad campaigns. But while advertising is an important part of a business’s marketing strategy, there are less expensive, more personal ways that will increase frequency. And they’re easier than ever to implement.
Back in the day, salesmen traded appreciative anecdotes about Vinny the appliance store owner who called everyone he’d ever sold an oven to once a month to see how they were getting along. He sent them cards on Groundhog Day and letters packed with customer appreciation offers. Fellow salesmen shook their heads in wonder and appreciation but dug their toes in the dirt at the prospect of doing the same.
That day is past. With the arrival of the Internet, being a Vinny-alike is as simple as installing contact management software on your computer, hitting a few buttons and letting your prospects and clients know you’re just a phone call or email away.
One of the best ways to stay in contact with prospects and clients is with an opt-in value-packed newsletter. Around once a month, your name pops up in their email box along with the useful information they’ve requested and a special offer or two at the bottom.
Email isn’t the only way to maintain frequency. Most of your prospects have faxes and they definitely all have mailboxes and voice mail. Hence, in addition to email management, contact management software can optimize your fax, mail and even voice broadcast campaigns, helping you keep track of what you’ve sent to whom and when you sent it. It also lets you know when it’s time to get back in touch with a particular customer.
The best software lets you not only track the behavior of your customers but also to tailor your marketing campaigns to those most likely to buy what you’re offering. And if you’ve practiced frequency, many more than usual will be ready to act when they get the message.
About the author
~~~ Clate Mask is president of Infusion Software which produces ManagePro CRM — a Web-based customer relationship software package that helps entrepreneurs and small business owners double or triple their sales by automating and improving their marketing, sales and client management. For more information or to take a test drive, please visit http://ManageProCRM.com/go/see