You don’t sing me love songs…
Years ago, when I was single, there was nothing quite like the excitement of waiting for a phone-call from a guy that I had just met. Do you remember those days? You’d meet a guy (or girl), you’d have a laugh, you’d exchange numbers and then play the dating/waiting game.
The dating rules were very complex and let me tell you, I played them to the letter of the law! If you met someone on the weekend, then you wouldn’t expect a call until Tuesday. If he called before then, he was a bit too keen. If he called after that, he wasn’t keen enough. So Tuesday was the day. Then you would arrange a date for a Thursday night….maybe Friday but definitely not Saturday. According to the rules, Saturday dates were firmly out until dating was well-established.
Date night was Thursday or Friday and you’d spend the day analysing every piece of clothing in your wardrobe. It was great fun.
The Follow Up
The odd bit came after the first date as the rules changed when you got to know someone. The too keen/not keen enough dilemma was shrouded in mystery. Every person was different – there were no clear follow-up rules. It really depended on the guy. And women, including myself, have spent too many hours trying to analyse men and their reactions after a first date!
The courting scenario was so much easier to predict. Follow up was so much harder.
The same can be said about business. What business-owner doesn’t court every single prospect until they get the sale? I do it, you do it – we all do it. We all put our eye on the prospect and treat them like we would a first date. We want their sale; we want to do business with them.
But the biggest error that I see with business owners is the lack of follow up.
The part where you don’t bring flowers or sing love songs for your customers anymore.
Neil Diamond once sang
“You don’t bring me flowers
You don’t sing me love songs
You hardly talk to me anymore
When you come through the door
At the end of the day”
So as this is the month of Love, I want you to start treating your existing customers as you used to – you need to start courting them again.
It is much easier than you think.
Here are three ways to court your customers:
1. Talk to them
All communication comes down to relating to one another. So consider communicating with them again. Pick up the phone and just ask them how they are. You’ll be amazed at how effective this is. I know of a client who took one week to call all his customers and at the end of the week, he got new orders and a renewed sense of focus.
2. Segment your list
If you look at your list of customers and establish buying patterns, you’re onto a winner. Many business-owners don’t know who their hyper-responders are – those customers who respond to an offer that you make via mail, ad or telephone call.
If you can segment your list of customers, you will know who are the customers to truly build a relationship with. Not all customers are created equally. But there is a small percentage of your customers who will buy 10 or 20 times more than other customers. You need to find out who they are and nurture that relationship.
3. Start a communication sequence
If you’re not following up with your existing customers, then you are losing income. The biggest asset you’ll ever have is a list of responsive customers. So create a communication sequence. Start an email newsletter, send out postcards of your offers, call up your customers and do it regularly. So perhaps this month you email with news, next month you send out a direct mail piece and the following month, you call up your customers or do a survey.
In Summary, There are companies who will go out of business this year. That’s a fact. Even those companies will have customers. 68% of consumers will never return to a business due to apathy.
What you need to do to differentiate yourself is communicate regularly with your existing customers. Just like a personal relationship, it’s the little things that count. Don’t have your customer say good bye to you because of lack of follow-up.
It’s the month of Love so start showing some to your customers.
If you’re nodding to this article and saying ‘yes, I must do that‘, then book a time to discuss how you can get a plan together that you can implement ASAP & wow your customers. Remember – you don’t need more information, you just need more implementation.
And why not take a listen to the fab voices of Barbara and Neil (yes, I’m on first name terms!!)