So you’ve managed to build a pretty nice size list and have great clients but how often do you stay in touch with them? Who are all those people on your list and how many of them are prospects that you’ve tried to turn into clients?
One of the most important things that any small business can do, especially when things are slow, is to keep in touch with your current customers and prospects.
Let’s face it – we’ve all had our moments when we’ve gotten really busy with our current workload. We luck out and manage to keep getting good referrals and work for a few months, so we “slack-off” a little bit on how much “networking” we are really doing ourselves.
Then we get caught out there with our last project wrapping up and no new prospects in sight. This is often referred to a the “feast-and-famine” cycle. I will admit it freely, that I have been guilty of this as well. So how can we keep our well from running dry? Through varied and consistent outreach.
Translation? We have to be as consistent as we possibly can be in our marketing efforts. Marketing isn’t optional – it’s essential when it comes to running a business. I know what you are thinking – “I just don’t have the time.” I hear ya! I often feel the same way, but it has to be done.
The more you communicate with your prospects and existing customers, the more chances you have to remind them of who you are and what you do.
Your goal isn’t to pester your prospects – so much as it is to help keep you “top of mind”, so when they are in need of your services they remember to call you instead of someone else.
It also helps you to establish that “know, like and trust” factor which is so vital in “closing the sale” these days.
Plus, the more varied your marketing efforts are – the more opportunities your prospects will have to hear about your business and the more opportunities you will have to enter them into your sales funnel.
Now when you are coming up with ways to do this, you ideally want to provide them with something that they will find useful and relevant to what you do. You want to deliver this to them on a consistent basis.
Here is a list of some things that you can do to stay in touch with your existing customers and potential prospects:
1. Send out a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter letting them know what you have been up to lately (like you’ve redesigned your website or that you’re now on Pinterest) or let them know about a special promotion for something that they may be interested in.
2. Use social media platforms, like Twitter & Facebook to announce the launch of your latest product, website, event or service.
3. Send out “thank you” gifts to clients from the past season or year. I personally deliver or mail either fruit or boxes of chocolates to my top 3 clients for the year during the holiday season. You’d be amazed at the reaction that I get from this.
Even something as simple as a Holiday or Christmas card works wonders. Why? Because no one really takes the time to do it anymore.
4. Block out at least one hour each week to “touch base” with your best clients and “talk shop”. Ask them how things are going and listen for “cues” to see if you can help them with anything they may have planned down the road.
Coffee breaks or in some cases even a quick chat on Skype can be a great way to do this.
5. Invite them to attend an “event” where you are speaking – so they can see you in a different capacity. People love to be invited as a guest to an “industry event”, especially if they can take a peak behind the scenes – it makes them feel like an “insider”. It sound corny but it works.
Remember you don’t have to do all of these and you definitely don’t have to implement them all at one time. I would suggest “rolling them out” one at a time until you are able to systematize or automate the process.
By implementing just one or two of these marketing efforts on a regular basis you’ll start to see results in no time.
Question?: How do you “keep in touch” with your prospects and customers? Share some of your ideas in the comment section below.
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