Gaining 100 loyal fans or clients who always pay on time, read your blogs, interact with your brand and act as advocates and ambassadors for your business is better that having the attention of 100,000 random visitors who may or may not make a purchase or do anything else with you. The vanity that comes with numbers is a serious distraction for many businesses as they focus their attention and measure performance based on metrics such as number of followers or quantity of likes. Where the focus should be on the number of happy clients or the number of solutions delivered, for example.
Trust and loyalty are 2 of the most valuable characteristics of long-term success. Simply put, if people do not trust you or your business or have had bad experiences with you, then you’re likely to lose them; which in turn means that you’ll have to go on the hunt again to acquire new clients. It’s now known that customer acquisition cost 7 times more than customer retention and yet a vast majority of businesses are desperately investing all into winning new clients. In fact, loyal, returning customers will spend more with your business. Certainly customer acquisition is a continuously necessary task, however, it should not be to replace lost clientele; that’s counterproductive and does not translate into growth for your business.
Here are 3 simple yet effective practices that can help separate your business from the crowd and deliver experiences your audience and customers will value.
Host Open Webinars
Webinars are powerful for pulling people together to share ideas, learn, share stories and experiences and build relationships. By hosting webinars, you give the public or a privileged group of people, direct access to you and your company’s resources. It’s an opportunity to present the real face of your business in a down to earth, accessible and relatable manner, which helps your customers and prospects develop a better appreciation of who you are, why you do what you do and feel like family.
Hosting high quality webinars have become super easy, especially through the use of a service like ClickWebinar. They provide the technology and features required to deliver premium audio and video content, social media integration which helps you to reach even wider audiences and vital communication tools like moderated private and public chats and questions and answers sessions to help you deliver greater value based on your clients’ needs.
Webinars offer real-time, client-centric interaction which helps you put the spotlight on those who matter most.
Use Social Networks as Your Platform for Communication & Accountability
More users, especially those belonging to Generation-Y, are spending more time communicating and consuming content via social media versus traditional media outlets such as television and even email. Social media is where the eyes and ears are and this is where everything worth talking about comes to life; both the good and the bad. Since one of the basic rules / requirements of effective advertising and public relations is to communicate where majority of the consumers’ attention is focused, you need an active presence in social.
Use social networks as a platform for proactively engaging customers, partners and prospects in your niche. Look for opportunities for real discussions, not about your business and what you sell but on whatever is of interest to the consumer of which you can chime in and give real insight and feedback. Where there’s an opportunity to solve problems, communicate helpful content and respond to customer queries, use the public domain of the social network to make communication transparent and timely, where appropriate. You and your brand will garner respect and trust if your network knows that you’ll address both positive and negative circumstances publicly. Or if you’re a real estate agent, for example, express honestly and openly your opinion of the market and property options, even if it’s negative and may result in a lost sale. Consumers will be more likely to use you because they know they’ll receive an unbiased opinion and treatment. That builds trust and opens the doorway for you to build healthy client relationships and loyalty in the long-term.
Give More Than You Sell
Your goal is to sell without actually selling; and what I mean by that is that you should not be solely focused on closing sales. That mindset leads to a selfish approach and outlook to each client or prospect interaction and this translates into poor or “blah” experiences that produce little results. How do you feel about people who always seem to take from you at every chance; more so than they’re willing to give? Versus, how do you feel about people who are there when you need them, always willing to give of themselves and invest time in you? When the time comes to give something back, contribute or purchase their product, who do you think you’ll buy from? The one who invests time in you of course and it’s the same in selling.
Your marketing campaigns, whether they’re via blogging, email marketing or on social media; should not be continuous blasts about how great your services are; or pitches to buy your new book, for instance. Invest time on each prospect or client as you would to build a friendship. Still, with this approach your subconscious mindset should not be on the sale; the new age of marketing demands a higher motivation. And in the end, it does not matter whether a sale is made now or months from now but each advocate or ambassador of your product is important. While the persons who do become your customers, will be with you for life.