December 28, 2017
As 2017 comes to an end, it is the perfect time to look back on annual reports and evaluate your progress. Although it is important to look back on your performance, it’s also just as important to plan for the upcoming year. The new year can be intimidating, especially when competition is heavy. While planning your marketing for the new year you should make sure that it is: strategic, measurable, attainable, and cost effective. There are various ways to develop your marketing plans on a budget but one of the best ways is to provide a “personal touch” and connection that most clients don’t expect, but certainly value. This means going above and beyond for the customer by showing extra care and doing things out of the ordinary that the customer doesn’t expect. Here are 5 methods in approaching a “personal side” of marketing:
- Have someone in charge of marketing. This doesn’t mean you need to develop a whole marketing department. Is there someone in your office that you consider a “people’s person” or someone who likes to put events together? Assign them to the marketing tasks. The tasks could vary from arranging seminars and events to updating the website and blogs. Rather it’s having a marketing consultant, an intern, or someone from your office, having someone assigned to the job will ensure that it gets done.
- Arrange a reverse seminar. Instead of you presenting to your client, have them present to you. This will put the “spotlight” on the client and will allow for them to feel engaged.
- Conduct an annual event. We all know of a few companies in our areas that are associated with certain charity events. That’s the goal for your firm. Having an annual event, especially involving charity, will not only help out your community but will also provide advertising opportunities.
- Pick up your phone and call! Sounds like something you should already know, but it’s one of the more effective (and free) ways to market. Instead of sending an email, give your client a call. Have the call be from the financial advisor or attorney that is working with the client. Discuss with them any business updates and ask if they have any questions. This also allows for the client to develop a relationship with the firm and feel like they are a part of the process, instead of being left in the dark. Make sure to personalize each call and switch up the subject.
- Go above and beyond with the simple things. This means whenever a client is in the office, make a fresh cup of coffee and add a snack with it. Have a welcome sign whenever the client is entering the office. Provide a welcome package, make parking arrangements, give a map, etc. Go the extra mile so that the client feels truly appreciated. And this will not only help your “personal side” marketing, but will also provide word-of-mouth marketing. The clients will tell their families, friends, and coworkers about this.
Have more ways on providing a “personal side” to marketing? Tell us by leaving a comment below:
November 16, 2017
Customers want to be remembered. When you recognize a customer, something about them, welcome them back to your website, etc., that will leave a lasting impression with them. Customer retention and new customer acquisitions are some of the most important things to keep your business thriving and relevant.
You might be wondering why remembering your customer, even if it’s the website that recognizes they have visited before, is so important. First of all, it makes the customer feel important. It shows that you are caring about them and the service they receive. Secondly, you’re creating a connection with your customer. If you’re meeting face to face, people like to feel as though they know the people that they are with. And thirdly, whether it is electronically or in person, it makes everything about the experience that much more personal.
So, here is what customers appreciate you knowing or doing:
- Personalization. Make the experience tailored to the specific customer and they will appreciate it more than you know.
- Names. If you remember the customer’s name it can make all the difference in the world.
- Simplifying. Simplify the process for websites, simple loyalty programs, great customer service, etc. The more you do the less the customer has to do and that’s what they want.
Do you have any great tips or stories on customer relations? Share below!
May 12, 2016
When it comes to clients, we have all figured out the best ways to communicate and behave with them. What’s not always so clear is how to stay in contact with the people who have decided that now is not the best time to work with you. When running your business it’s important that you always keep yourself in the back of these customers minds, so that when it is time for them to commit you will be in the forefront. It’s important to keep track of these people or companies, and strategize how to best market yourself to them. Here are 5 tips to help foster better relationships with your potential clients.
- Social Media Engagement. A great way to stay in contact with your potential clients is through social media. In a business relationship you should connect with them on LinkedIn. To encourage a more personal relationship, feel free to add them or promote yourself using other outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a video on how connect through Facebook.
- Utilize Newsletters, Articles, and Blogs. Similar to social media, it’s important to show potential clients the type of work you do, what your expertise is in, and how your business is doing. A convenient and efficient way to do this is through the use of weekly or monthly newsletters or regular blog posts.
- Invite Them to Events. If you are hosting a business, social, or personal event for your clients, be sure to invite your prospective clients as well. This not only gives you an opportunity to talk with your prospective clients on a more personal level, but it also allows them to see the type of service and relationships you maintain with your clients.
- Make an Introduction. A great way to make a lasting impression is to think about who you may know that would be beneficial for the potential client to know as well. Maybe you had a conversation about how they wanted to expand an area of their business and you have a connect in that field. Introduce them! It will show them that you are already invested in their success.
- Check In and Be Responsive. Send them a small gift if you recently had a meeting, a holiday card if it’s that time of year, or a birthday card if you know it’s their birthday. Even simpler than that is making sure you are keeping up on your email and social media. Make sure to respond to comments, calls, or emails quickly, whether they be positive or negative.
The key to great client relationships is great communication. Keep these tips in the back of your mind as you foster your new relationships, and work to maintain old.
What are your tips for potential client relationships?
September 17, 2015
Creating a website is an intricate task. There are many elements to attend to and some might get lost in the shuffle. An important aspect to stay focused on is your homepage. This is where your clients will see how you choose to represent yourself and it may be their first impression of your business. Make it count. Here are some tips to make your homepage more successful.
- Simple Headline. The first thing clients will read when they get to your homepage is the headline. Make it strait to the point so they know they’re in the right place and you can offer them what they need.
- Don’t Get Lost. Make sure the homepage is easy to navigate and clearly allows customers to go to other parts of your site. If they can’t figure out how to get the information they need, they’ll move on to another website.
- A Picture’s Worth 1000 Words. Make sure your homepage has a picture that supports your business. Real images of you and your company are ideal. Try to avoid boring stock photos. Videos are a great way to introduce yourself to a potential client, so try creating a short video to post on your page.
- Offer Something More. Have a link to your newest blog post or a free download of your ebook. This gives people incentive to stay on your site and learn more about your expertise. Providing content gives you credibility and proves to client you know your stuff.
- Brag a Little. Your homepage is where you want to show off! Make a good impression by listing awards and recognitions your business has received. Impress your future clients immediately by putting these on your homepage.
Your website is important, but your homepage is your first impression. Make it a good one by employing these tips. You never know what a good homepage will get you.
How did you make your homepage successful?
September 3, 2015
We get 500 emails a day, but it feels more like 5,000. So why should we open your email? Well, first, you should have some relevant content. Make sure you’re not sending too many emails with nothing to offer. Once you have some content, here is how you should subject your emails:
- Leave ’em wanting more. Creating some mystery in your email subject can improve open rate. Don’t reveal too much in the subject, but make sure to give them a hint! Be too vague and you’ll be ignored.
- Short and sweet. If your subject line is too long, people won’t bother to read them. Make your subject line relatively short, but impactful. Choose action words or interesting phrases to catch attentions.
- Interrupt. Using numbers (like “4” instead of “four”) interrupt readers normal skimming and slightly catch their attentions. Try using other symbols or punctuation to get your point across.
- Make it URGENT. Displaying a sense of urgency or curiosity invites people to open emails. Try starting with a question or time limit. This increases open rate because no one don’t want to miss out.
- Emotional appeal. Try to make your subject line emotional in some way. Connect the reader to your email by personalization or localization. People are more likely to open specific emails rather than general ones.
Email marketing can be tough. When less than half of your email base ever even opens your emails, you may feel like giving up. Don’t! Just change up your email subject lines to encourage open rates!
How do you create email subject lines?
August 20, 2015
Why blend in when you can stand out? To set yourself apart from your competitors, it’s important to advertise your differences and benefits. Your customers won’t know how innovative and successful your business is if you don’t tell them. So don’t be afraid to show it off! Here are 5 ways to standout from the crowd.
- Become a thought leader. Your industry could use one more thought leader, so make sure it’s you! Publish your content on a blog and create a newsletter to get your name out there. Meaningful and relevant content go a long way.
- Raise the bar. Do some research and one-up your competition. Make your business the standard in your industry and leave the competition playing catch up. Position yourself as cutting edge.
- Go above and beyond. Going the extra mile for a client can make all the difference. Show them you care about them as an individual. They’ll take notice and recommend you to their connections.
- Focus on the experience. From the first time the client looks at your website or social media sites, to the follow up survey they take after you have done your job, it’s important to make sure the customer is having a good experience. Every time the client comes in contact with your business it affects their overall perception of you. Make sure it’s a good one.
- Make them look. Be creative with your marketing. Think outside the box when it comes to email newsletters and traditional mailers. Think about what will get their attention and put your business in their head first.
Don’t get lost in the crowd of businesses, standout! Your clients will thank you, your employees will thank you, and your industry will thank you.
How do you standout from the crowd?
August 6, 2015
You do this everyday, all the time. You’re always talking to people; when you order your coffee and when you see the mailman. You talk when you call your sister and you thank your babysitter. But most of all you talk when you’re at work. I know what you’re thinking: practice makes perfect so I’m all set. That’s not always the case. Plus there’s always room for improvement! Here are some ways to master the art of conversation.
- Start small. Don’t rush into a conversation with serious, heavy topics. Stick with the weather or another non-threatening topic. But don’t make it too obvious, small talk can be annoying.
- The customer is always right. When you’re talking to someone, try not to correct them. Even if you mean it in the best way, they’ll think you’re rude. It’s best to let it go.
- Ask questions. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, so ask questions! People love to talk about themselves, so let them! They’ll walk away feeling like they had a great conversation with you.
- Pay attention. Actually listen to what the other person is saying. This may sound obvious, but if you get caught not listening you look bad. Put your phone away and really concentrate.
- Make a connection. Relate to the other person by sharing an experience or feeling. This makes the conversation meaningful and you more likable. Find some common ground to bring you together.
- What you’re not saying. Be aware of your body language. Looking away or at your watch makes people feel like you’re not really listening. Use your hands when you talk to show enthusiasm instead of crossing your arms. You look more friendly this way.
- Know when it’s over. Listen for cues (or use them yourself!) to know when the conversation is coming to an end. Phrases like “I should let you go” or “It was great to see you” signal it’s time to get out of there. Say your goodbyes and get on your way.
With all the technology we’re used to, it can be hard to remember how to have a good conversation. Hopefully these tips will help you on your way to mastering the art of conversation!
What are your tips for mastering the art of conversation?