Now, understand that these programs do not have the same “order- taking” ease that call-in campaigns do, but you need to stay above the break- even line at all times, or else you are taking profits out of your own pocket! Seasonal business owners, like heating-cooling contractors, can fill in “off-seasons” by offering comfort, economy or indoor air quality products, services or inspections – not only to strangers, but to their established customer base, as well. Not only is “after-market” (i.e. additional sales income from the existing customer base) an easy money-maker, it is the best (cheapest) way to create fill-in business. Be it mailers, generated referrals, telemarketing, point of sale super-offers or network marketing, you should test two or three of these direct approach efforts to see which ones will work for you in the “slow times.”
Measure which kind of promotion resulted in every sale, or else you won’t know what generates results. This way, you can fine-tune every effort to increase profit per sale, or increase sales by expanding the best efforts. Obviously, it’s easier to sell them when they call or arrive, but, if you don’t have back-up efforts available that work, you’re not running a marketing managed business and you are out-of-control. Don’t wait for the bottom of the sales curve to think about doing something. Test your approaches in the good times and secure your business income.
In order for people to enjoy doing business with you, there are two additional ways to “tighten up the ship.” The more faceted your array of impressive capacities, the more likely they are to “invest” money in you. You will have success and resourcefulness written all over your every effort.
Physical Appearance – This is represented by that which meets the eye. Quality means that you bother to go the extra mile. A. Vehicles should be clean, orderly and look cared for. B. Literature should be above average in paper quality and layout, and be orderly in design. C. Tools should be organized, respected and in good condition. D. Any devices that are state-of-the-art can show a commitment to the best possible service – “bells & whistles!”
Emotional Appearance – This is observed by minimum levels of opportunities to generate positive emotions about your company.
Empathy – Openly demonstrate a concern for their concerns. People will tell you what they want, and what concerns them. Respond in a sincere and genuine manner to their words and gestures, and be alert to share in their emotional condition.
Ask questions – Not only will you draw out of them their concerns, but the whole attitude of, “I’m here for you,” just screams from genuine questions. Don’t abuse it, or they’ll know!
Encourage complaints – 7% of unhappy customers actually complain to the source of his problem. So, you lose 93% of customers, sooner or later, who just don’t return! Studies show that corporate America loses 10% of it’s base every year. That alone is grounds for uncovering complaints. Besides, we can’t correct errors that we are not aware of. You must ask whether or not you have performed up to the expectations of the customer. Best of all, this whole process instills confidence and trust. No one loses!
Thank-you notes – These are examples of bothering to go the extra mile, when it isn’t “necessary.” If you’ve ever received one, you should know exactly how appreciated it can make a person feel, and how appreciative of whomever sent the note.
Humility- While it is authoritative and comforting to “know it all,” the humility of saying, “I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’ll find out for both of us and get back to you with the answer,” (and do it) can also instill strong emotional trust and confidence in your judgment, honesty and integrity.