We’ve all seen business cards that look like miniature billboards. When done well, they can help distinguish a company from its competitors and encourage prospects to call. The extra cost is virtually nothing.
Business cards, catalogs and brochures may be the first introduction prospects have to your company, but they’re just one part of the mix. Savvy marketers ensure that communication with every customer and prospect reinforces a positive impression and maximizes sales. Here are just a few of the opportunities that many companies overlook:
Ordering Points. Whether customers order by phone, mail or online, help them love you and buy more from you. Reinforce your company benefits at the point of sale. Offer related product upsells. Make sure your shopping cart is user friendly. Don’t make customers wade through annoying layers of voice mail menus before they can reach a live operator. Don’t bury your shipping and handling prices on your web site.
Package shipments. Putting more offers in your outgoing shipments costs little extra. Try including a group of coupons good for specific items in your catalog, which encourages customers to take another look at your catalog.
Search Engine Listings. After your search engine ranking, the next most important factor influencing the click-throughs to your web site is what the listing says. You can control or at least influence that copy, yet many companies never give this important element any thought. Doing so is well worth the time and money for most companies.
Customer Service. You’ve heard the statistics about a happy customer telling three others about their experience, and an unhappy one telling ten. Stellar customer service is of primary importance to every company. Make sure every person who speaks to customers knows how to do so with friendliness, courtesy, and solid product knowledge.
Invoices. Reinforce benefits on your invoices. Spell out any savings or bonuses received. Add a simple statement about the benefits of doing business with your company.
Trade Shows. One of my pet peeves is trade show booths that give you no idea of what a company is selling, let alone any benefits. And one puzzlement is the number of companies that don’t gather leads at a trade show, or gather them but never follow up.
Make sure your booth conveys your message at a glance, and develop a means to gather qualified leads, plus a system for following up quickly. If you don’t do that, you might as well take all the time and money you’re spending on shows and put it to better use elsewhere.
Creating New Touchpoints. Newsletters and e-newsletters are among the best ways to stay in touch with customers and prospects, especially when you can offer useful information, not just a sales pitch. Technology now makes this option economical for even the smallest companies.
The most successful companies look for as many ways as possible to build relationships with customers. They send thank you notes after a sale, birthday greetings, or special offers on the anniversary of the date a person first became a customer. Let your customer know they’re appreciated, subtly remind them of your company, and watch your sales rise.