“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” Tony Robbins
We spend much of our resources on recruiting clients for our businesses, but then forget about them once a transaction has been finalised. It is common knowledge that it is cheaper to sell to existing clients, than to recruit new ones.
Below there are four communication options that you may implement in your business immediately
Distribute a newsletter among your existing clients
An electronic newsletter is by far the cheapest and most efficient way of communicating with existing clients. The caveat is that you have to have a valid e-mail address for your clients on record. A newsletter should address the following elements:
- The information you are communicating, should be useful to the reader – perhaps something like tips on how to optimally utilise your product or service
- The frequency of distribution should be well thought through – between two and four short newsletters per month is optimal
- A personalised newsletter shows your respect for the individual; for example calling someone by his/her name
- Make use of “immediate response” mechanisms, for example when you offer your clients a special deal and they are able to react immediately (phone you, e-mail you, or complete an online service request)
Distribute useful articles
You may also include articles in your newsletter, but these could also be vested as a separate communication element. If you have specific skills, experience and insights, you could establish yourself as an expert that provides people with advice and council on specific subjects. Use the article to relay people to your website. Also include the business’ telephone number and e-mail address in every article.
Build up a “with permission” e-mail address list
Always ensure that you communicate with people who have given their permission to have information sent to them. There are two ways to recruit subscriptions to your newsletter and articles, namely an invitation from your website (start an article archive, or place a copy of your most recent newsletter on your website), and by obtaining their permission to register them as recipients of your newsletters and/or articles at the point of sale, or when the contract is being signed.
The place and value of an integrated communication system
The publication of a newsletter or article in isolation is not enough to obtain optimal client interaction. A combination of the following elements should be considered:
- e-Mail (newsletters and articles)
- Social media (LinkedIn and Twitter seem to be the most productive alternatives from the point of view of doing business)
Here is a breakdown of the reasons why businesses lose clients
- 1% - death
- 3% - move from the area where the business is
- 5% - convinced by the competition to leave
- 9% - better terms offered by another provider
- 14% - unfinished/unresolved conflict
- 68% - apathy and lack of communication on the part of the business
It is therefore clear that clients have expectations of and a need for timeous and useful communication from the businesses where they have spent and spend their money.
Article written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market
Copyright © Sanlam, 2016