Do Your Customers Know You’re Talking to Them?.
“How You Communicate With Customers Tells Them If You Care About Them.”
Do you have a formal policy for communicating with your clients and prospects. Do you strive consistently to get the right message to them at the right time, when they ARE most likely to hear what you have to say?
Do you make a concerted effort to communicate with your customers through your marketing, promotional, and communications campaigns both online and offline when your customers are most receptive to what you have to say? Have you researched how your customers (especially your raving fans) consume different types of content (media messaging) especially how they do (or don’t) respond favorably to your messages? This requires a business communications tracking campaign to monitor the results of your various messages to your external (customers, prospects, vendors, suppliers, the media) and internal (employee) audiences. Do you have a process in place right now to track all your stakeholder’s receptiveness to your messaging?
Stated differently, do you know what messages you send are getting through and making an impact, and the communications that you send that are missing the mark, not being received, or are getting “drowned out” by the deluge of messages we all receive daily?
Do you know how your favorite (most profitable) clients prefer to receive your messages? How do they feel about and respond to your stories? Do they ever get offended by your tonality? How favorably/unfavorably do they respond to your special offers, promotions, and incentives? These are the questions that you MUST be asking. Do your sales presentations have all the excitement and client engagement of watching paint dry or dust accumulate on venetian blinds? When you “pitch” a prospective client, do you go on and on in monotonous tones talking to a gazillion slides about what “YOU DO” but never focus on their challenges and how you can help them resolve the business issues that keep them up at night?
Do you know where they are when they get your communications? If you cannot honestly answer these questions, then all of your advertising, marketing, and communications with your customers is being effectively wasted.
Do you make an effort to reinforce your messaging by touching your customers in different ways? Do you combine a blend of different business communication such as personal calls, emails, your website, letters (yes, HAND-WRITTEN, person communication!), etc? Do you craft truly compelling and engaging stories based on how you can and do help your customers to solve their most immediate and a challenging business problems? Or, do you take the alternate approach of crafting generic messaging focused from your own organization’s perspective that screams: “This is what we do…now buy it!?”
This is an absolutely central issue that most organizations simply pass over in developing their business communication. Instead, they holler at the masses that they need to sell them your stuff. Instead, do you, your business, your organization to the time and make the significantly more challenging effort to talk about what you do that is truly unique and how you offer things that are invaluable and memorable. Do you talk bout WHY you do what you do, not how or what?
To learn how to REALLY speak to your customers in a compelling way, check out this Simon Sinek video about telling WHY you do what you do. People and organizations like Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright Brothers that are most successful at transforming our lives have always communicated at emotional levels that touch our hearts and inspire us. Do you?
Do you have a communication program in place that is designed to talk to your customers differently, depending on how valuable they are and how much business they contribute to your organization? The more valuable a customer is, the more direct, person communication should be made to them. Hand written notes and personal calls are only the beginning.
Do you go that extra mile to “connect” with your most profitable clients? For example, do you visit with them at their place of business, take a tour of their business, or take them out to breakfast/lunch to catch up on their challenges? Do you accompany them with sales calls to THEIR clients to see what challenges they face in selling their own firm’s products and services?
Do you host monthly, quarterly, or annual client breakfast roundtables, appreciations and town hall events to say “Thank you” for their support (business?) how do you share with your clients and partners all of the exciting things that you and your firm are working on, to serve them better? If you are not doing any/most of these things, then you really aren’t communicating in an effective way nor are you creating significant value so they want to keep you when times get tough.
If you aren’t communicating these ways, you need to understand that your competitors are doing these things. And in challenging economic times like we’ve had for the last four years, your most valuable customers will surely remember how well you did (or didn’t) make the effort to keep in touch with them.
Here’s to your continued business success in 2012.