You may be saying, “Communications does not sound like part of my business plan.” but if you don’t know how you are going to reach your clients in a way that they are going to hear you and respond then you don’t have a marketing plan in your business plan. We have discussed the Market, Brand, Product, and Pricing as the first 4 tips and today we are going to talk about the programs you can use to connect with your clients.
There are so many ways to talk to your prospects and your current clients. Truly, these ways are only limited by your imagination. Let’s look at two of my favourite.
The electronic newsletter or e-zine is a great way to create and maintain a relationship with customers. You can:
- publish your own articles to build your expert reputation.
- republish articles from expert guests
- let people know what is happening in your business
- tell people about your upcoming events or product releases
- invite people to visit interesting places that will help them
- give away free products or services
- display announcements
- share information
Through networking I have built connections with a lot of people I trust and respect. I do not network in just one place, in fact there are a lot of places to network, including online. I belong to BNI and I not only go to my weekly meetings but I also go to the larger events where I build relationships with people I may only see once a year, but connect with regularly through e-mail and phone. I network at a local social event that is held monthly for business owners. Conferences are a great place to network so I choose two a year that will get me in front of the people that are either my clients or do business with my clients. I also get to network in my mastermind groups.
The key to networking is building a relationship to a point where you know the other person well enough that you feel comfortable referring them. Often times I’ve found some of my best friends have come from the connections I’ve make through networking. By creating a trusting relationship with someone, you will increase the KL&T factor. We must Know, Like, and Trust (KL&T) someone to be able to pass their names to our trusted connections and they must have the same confidence in us to give us a referral into their network. As a bonus these people can often become alliances or joint venture partners to offer additional expertise to your clients.
One of the most important things to remember when communicating with your clients and prospects is to provide information that will benefit them (don’t just sell your product). It is the gift to them that will come back to you through the trust and credibility you build.
If you have had success with some other ways to reach out to your clients please share them with us in the comments below.