OPINION: The best thing you can do when you can’t do business?
It boils down to one word. Connect.
A big part of my job with small businesses is understanding their market. And as part of that, I sign up for a variety of newsletters from their competitors, which makes my inbox a challenge, but all for a good cause.
What I notice the most is that I haven’t seen one yet that connects with me. Yes, they are full of special offers that may or may not interest me, or it’s a list of new features and new products.
But none of them connect with me, Judy, a real human in the flesh.
* Four ways to integrate LinkedIn into your marketing strategy
* How to disconnect and take a break during the Christmas holidays
* Mia Blake changes roles for backstage role on Shortland Street
At the same time, there are those who have my authorization by e-mail, but who have not contacted me.
Like the local restaurant, we usually order take out online. I would like to know what systems they have in place with contactless options. Maybe a quick note on how they’re doing.
And my hairdresser, whose appointment I missed because the confinement took place. I haven’t heard a word from them.
I know they don’t know when I can get a haircut yet, but a short personal message, like you would with a friend, would make the relationship stronger.
Everyone knows small business is hell, and people want to know your story – how you are doing and what they can do to help you.
The point is, there are plenty of opportunities for you to reach out to your customers, whether through email or, better yet, over the phone. Be honest and real. Treat them more like friends and you will be rewarded.
One of the biggest challenges in society when we isolate ourselves is our connection, our interaction with other humans.
I’m sure like me you have a list of friends, family, or neighbors that you call or email to make sure they’re okay. It’s no different with your customers. In fact, now is the perfect time to create that connection of trust.
My other bugbear is the signatures on the emails. In newsletters, there is often nothing at all, which makes me nod my head.
However, in many cases, you get the standard digital marketing wallpaper, from “Of the XYZ family”.
Okay, the word “family” is better than just the company name, but it didn’t make me feel like family.
Right now, you have a golden opportunity to communicate with your customers with genuine empathy and build a more solid and lasting relationship.
To get you thinking, I have a few suggestions for keeping them light, informative, and real.
Read them with an open mind and think about how you can turn your tough sales promotion into a warm and friendly connection.
“We are working hard behind the scenes, coming up with ideas to alleviate your foreclosure. And here’s a couple to put extra spring in your next “(activity)” … something that relates to your business.
Then make it engaging and personal in the signature …
“I am here to bring you the joy of (how the product / service is used). Any problem or comment gets in touch with me at any time.
All my wishes,
(name of owner / CEO) and the whole team here at XXX “
It is a sincere message, accompanied by your personalized e-mail (NOT ‘sales @’), and your mobile number.
Before clicking send, ask yourself if your email / text …
- Sounds like it’s a sales pitch or from a friend?
- Humanize your business?
- Offer hope and inspiration?
- Provides a touch of normalcy?
So now is the time to safely take off your mask and show yourself who you really are.
Judy Celmins, ThriveableBiz for Revolutionary Marketing.