This is the best way for small businesses to communicate

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New marketing technology is welcome. Social media is now mainstream and smart phones are an essential part of a businessman’s day. Both of these tools make for nimble, flexible marketing and sales campaigns.

However, with each great technological advance and a continuing pressure for our time and attention – is focus being lost on what we’re really trying to achieve through these communication tools? Is it true, we get so lost in the methods, that we forget the purpose is about building relationships, doing business, building brands and making sales?

Take the phone as an example. Are your staff using the phone appropriately or defaulting to email to communicate.

Pick up the phone
We have a saying in the office – use email to confirm the order. Use the phone to secure one. If you want to build relationships – pick up the phone. Back in the day, it’s rare to get good old fashioned courtesy phone calls. Is good old fashioned service alive and well in your small business?  A quick checklist helps:

  • What kind of work have you been offering or delivering of late?
  • Is there more opportunity to up sell or cross sell?
  • How much more could have been achieved by picking up the phone rather than sending emails?
  • Count the number of phone conversations that are taking place
  • Are phone calls an irritation and interruption?
  • How can we be more personal and offer a better service?

Here are some of my top tips on how to incorporate some more of that old school communication into your daily routine. 

If you want to build relationships – pick up the phone!

Speak don’t email
Email is very convenient and also very lazy! Before you hit send, stop and think if the information your writing would be better served or communicated in an email. Are you asking a question? Is it urgent? Call them up. You will almost certainly get things resolved quicker. Proper phone manner goes a long way in your company positioning and in the success of your sale.

10 before 10
Make sure you or your sales team have made contact with 10 clients before 10 o’clock in the morning. Why before 10am? Because, more often than not, it means you will be the first person your client has spoken to that day. Get in their first. Take and up sell the order. Demonstrate you are on-the-ball with their portfolio that you know what they need.

Polite, personalised and professional
Make a note of the little things about your clients. Showing you care about them beyond selling them a product will go a long way. Be customer focused; building relationships is always of the highest importance – it will benefit your bottom-line if you stop seeing your clients and their customers as an end to a means. When you are speaking to clients be aware of your language, both with what you are saying and the subtext.

What are the drivers?
Ask yourself what you really want to achieve, and what your clients really want to achieve. If you don’t understand the business drivers, how can you hope to fulfil them? The best tactic is to be straightforward and ask the obvious questions. So often overlooked in business dealings.

3 more great reads from our marketing expert Sharon Williams
1. How to keep your clients happy
2. How to create a business strategy
3. Marketing your business? Get these 5 things right


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Sharon Williams
Sharon Williams is the founder CEO of Taurus Marketing, an integrated marketing, PR, social media agency. She is a Fellow of the PRIA, international speaker, personal brand expert, entrepreneur, mentor, marketer, media commentator and frequent mainstream editorial contributor.

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