Regardless of what you are selling, one of the primary roles marketing has is to create connections. It may be a virtual connection if you are selling products over the Internet or interacting with people on social media, or it could be a traditional sale where a salesperson is looking to establish relationships with prospective buyers. All require a connection - to a brand, a company, a person - some kind of relationship that will be beneficial to both parties and hopefully create long-term value. Here are some things to think about as you create or review your communication strategies:
- Be authentic - authenticity in your communications is something that should never get lost. That means staying on brand and on voice with your messaging, as well as making sure all your channels (including your sales team) follow suit. That doesn't mean you have to be formal (unless you want to be) but make sure it's not stale, boring or plain. I've found that being true to who you are - as a person or as a company - can still achieve brand goals without losing the personality of the people or channels delivering the message.
- Make it personal - you have to make sure when you are communicating to an audience you show that you know something about them. Whether is something they need, something they want or something they like you have to make it relevant or else you become like everyone else. You may not be able to get to true one to one communications every time, but the more it feels like it the more relevant it will feel to you audience.
- Provide value - people are always looking for more information to make better, more informed decisions. The web has done a great job of creating community around buying decisions with ratings systems and just the preponderance of information that is available to day. Whether it's your web site, your content marketing or your consultative approach you have to make sure you are giving prospects and client value before, during and after their transactions if you want more than one purchase to happen.
- Make it easy - you have to be able to make contact easy and efficient. We all get distracted by the various lines of communication we have today, but the easier you make it for customer to interact with you the greater the chance they will want to buy from you. I love the live chat features on web site for customer service - they've made it easy for me to get questions answered when I've dreaded calling the toll free. Anything you can do to help establish positive dialogue will be to your advantage.
- Maintain the relationship - if you think in transactional terms and just stop the connection on the first round you are missing out in the long-term value that relationship may bring to your organization. The traditional rule is that is take somewhere between 6 and 12 contact points before a target interacts with you - falling short of that number hurts your chances of building a meaningful connection.
In today's text riddled, screen focused world the ability to establish a lasting connection, especially in business, will continue to be more and more challenging. Go to prospects and customers where they are and speak to them in ways that build a rapport and an understanding of what they need and how you can help them. Starting from there and building a mutually beneficial relationship - one customer at a time - will help you grow your business to new heights.