September 29, 2013

Appreciation Marketing – Be Personal


Last week we discussed that we need to be creative in our business operation, how to implement changes, and what can result from being more creative. At the same time that we are being inventive and updating our operation, we should endeavor to become more personal in dealing with clients, prospects, and everyone else.
This involves the basics of Appreciation Marketing, treating all our customers, prospects, family, friends, and anyone else as people, real people, not like account numbers. Consider how we would want to be treated by someone with whom we were doing business and act accordingly. Actually, we should treat others better than we would expect to be treated.
Exactly what does it mean to treat someone as a person and not as a number? When we address them, we should call them by their name. Stop sending mail addressed to “Resident”, “Occupant”, or “Our Friends At”. If we are their friend, we should know and use their name. We should avoid the use of blind presentations of all sorts.
We should discover what our prospects need before we attempt to sell them what we have. Marketing a car to someone who does not have a driver’s license is just wrong and will not gain us any good will or referrals. Discover what someone needs and then try to provide that if you can, or refer them to someone who can fulfill their need. We should not try to sell something to someone just because we have it in stock.
We should discover more about our prospects and customers. When is their birthday; what is their spouse’s name, and birthday; what are their children’s names and birthdays; what is their anniversary date? Sending out a birthday or anniversary card can tell our prospects and customers that we care enough to notice the events in their lives. It is an easy program to start and fulfill.

How would a client react to receiving a card thanking them for allowing us to be of service to them for another year (on the anniversary of them starting business with us)? How would they react to receiving congratulations on their being in business for another year in these difficult times? There are all sorts of occasions when we can reach out to our clients and prospects and “touch” them in a significant manner.

Referrals are the backbone of all businesses, and our happy customers should be providing us referrals as much as they can. Just how should we deal with a referral from our current client who believes that we are the perfect contact for their trusted associate? We must immediately contact the referral and express our desire to follow up with them, and we must thank the referring client.

We should assure the referring client that their referrals will receive the same excellent service that we have provided and that we appreciate their referral. We then should reward the referring client in some manner that is creative and personal. It doesn’t need to be an expensive gift, but everyone likes to be noticed and treated in a special way.

Being personal doesn’t have to be difficult or interfere with our normal business operation. Reaching out to clients, prospects, and others in a personal manner can be rewarding and allows our clients to have a positive experience with us. That results in more long term clients, more appreciative prospects, and more referrals. Please leave your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

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