Four ways to improve communication with prospects and customers
Traditional communication often no longer works
Here are some words from an interview that one of my clients carried out with one of their customers:
“If they leave VM messages, I usually delete them. I HATE voice mail but I like email and would usually answer them, particularly if I know them. VM is the worst and it seems dated.”
Naturally, this doesn’t apply to everyone
Some people love the phone and hate e-mail. That’s why it’s vital to find out your customers’ and prospects’ preferred methods of communication.
There are two ways to do this. The first is simple. Simply ask your contact how they like to be contacted. However, this doesn’t always work. Sometimes it’s more effective to try different methods of communication and see which ones get the best response.
To be really effective, it’s worth trying to be a bit different. Here are five ways of communicating that you might wish to consider:
These always stand out. Customers and prospects always appreciate the personal touch. As it is slower t write than to type, handwritten notes also make you spend more time thinking about your message.
I’m now getting excellent response rates from contacts when I use SMS. People like to check their phones regularly for personal messages. It’s quick and easy to reply to an SMS. It often gets someone’s immediate attention. This is because it is a method of communication that is not often used by sales people (yet).
Social media messaging
Naturally, this only works if your contact is active on social media. However, it can be surprisingly effective. I have one client who is addicted to Twitter. They often ignore phone messages and e-mails. However, they respond straight away if I send them a tweet!
Skype is a great alternative to holding face to face meetings. It’s is much more time and cost efficient. I’ve written more about using Skype here. (LINK)
Some people feel that communication in these ways is not for them.
What happens if you are not comfortable using new communication methods?
Unfortunately, this is no longer about you. It is about your prospects and customers. It is important to be in their world. If they prefer communication in one of these ways then you will get better results by respecting this.
In my opinion, learning new communication styles is an essential skill for a sales person.
Here’s a challenge for you
Pick a prospect with whom you are struggling to achieve the right level of communication. Try contacting them through at least two of the methods I have outlined above.
Communicating with them in new way might just give you the edge that wins you the sale.
PS If you want more ideas on how to make your sales activities more effective make sure you download this free e-guide:
Download your free copy of “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them” (worth £19/$29) right now
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