Monthly Archives: November, 2017

How to nurture prospects into long-term customers

November 29th, 2017 Posted by Smart business tips No Comment yet

In business the assumption often is that once a consumer has made a purchase, they are automatically a customer. But business is much more complex – the reality is that to attract long-standing customers, you need to nurture and develop relationships.

They need to view your brand as a trusted source which has solutions. So how do you develop a relationship where the customer sees real value in your brand? Read these tips on attracting and nurturing long-standing customers.

Develop a journey map
Map out every aspect of the customer’s experience by developing a journey map. This is a blue print of every point of contact you have with the customer, from initial discussion when they are a lead to ongoing engagement through content to the desired end destination – a long-standing customer. Creating a relevant journey requires understanding your customers inside-out – what their pain points, habits and desired outcomes are, what technology they use to get information and where you can add real value and solutions. In short, journey mapping is about anticipating the customers’ needs, knowing when and where to deliver solutions and guiding them towards choosing your brand instead of a competitor’s through value, quality and expertise.

Create killer content
Create content to fill out your customer journey map – consider what information, in the form of content like articles, video and offers – you can share to educate, entertain and build trust in your brand. Lead progression requires its own marketing content which is different to lead capture. It should be relevant and reinforce the notion of your organization as a trusted adviser with real solutions to boot. Focus on providing solutions focused at the customer instead of marketing your brand. Lead progression is all about building trust until they become a customer.

Play the long game
Prospects cannot be rushed. Sometimes it can take several months from the initial interest to convert the lead into a customer. Sales staff should be prepared to play the long game and proceed at the customer’s pace. Try to hurry them along and you may find that instead, the customer chooses an alternative route.

Don’t give up!
It may sound obvious, but businesses that invest heavily in lead nurturing report a 45% higher return on investment than those companies that don’t. So when the going gets tough, remember it’s a long-term journey to get a prospect to the point of purchase. Nurturing that relationship further, beyond that initial purchase to one of valued customer, can be an even longer process. It will, however, be a much more fruitful one.

Use Bartercard to cover the cost of content creation – we have article writers and videographers available to make your brand’s content cut through a cluttered market.

 

Original article written by Bartercard Australia.

Digital etiquette 101 and curbing email

November 16th, 2017 Posted by Smart business tips No Comment yet

Email is a tricky thing. On one hand, seeing every message is crucial (especially if you own a business), leaving us sweeping our inboxes every five minutes. On the other, we’re trying to curb and cull email to prevent complete takeover.

So in this week’s blog we tackle two topics: Should you send a follow-up email? and how to curb the email overload.

Why you should always send a follow-up email 

You’ve picked up the phone, pitched the idea and received a positive response. The next question is, do you send a follow up email? (And when does it cross the line?)

The answer is, always send a follow up email, and do it straight away. 

Within 24 hours (and preferably asap), remind them of who you are, recap the points discussed, and what you want to achieve. Keep it short and succinct, and include a link to more information.  If you’re speaking to a journalist, paste the additional information in the body of the email instead – i.e. write the email, sign off with ‘Thank you for your time, please find further information below’ and drop the information in. Journalists are always short on time and it’s easier to scroll down on a phone than clicking a link.

What if you don’t hear back?

If a week has passed and you still haven’t heard back, send another follow up. If you still don’t receive a response, pick up the phone. Tip: when calling, have some new information in your back pocket so you have a relevant reason to call which isn’t just self-serving.

If they haven’t said no, it’s appropriate to continue contacting them until you receive a concrete answer – as long as you are polite and not doing so every few days. Sometimes the timing just isn’t right but it could be down the track. In this day and age, an email can be easily overlooked, so calling to follow up can put you back on the radar.

Most inboxes in today’s digital-rich, information saturated world are bursting at the seams, which is why at the same time, it’s important to curb the email overload. Think of all the time you spend replying to emails as soon as they popup, deflecting your attention from revenue-focused tasks. Outside of work, how many times has email caused stress and sleepless nights? It’s why many blogs today will tell you it’s critical to unplug or to ‘digitally detox’.

Get a head start with these quick tips to declutter your inbox and regain control of email.

 1. CONTROL WHEN YOU CHECK EMAIL

Block out two, three or four time slots in your calendar each day to check emails.
It will let you single task your responses, make better decisions and write quality responses.

2. TURN OFF EMAIL ALERTS TO REMOVE CONSTANT DISTRACTIONS

Multi-tasking is only possible when tasks are familiar and routine – completing one task at a time without distractions is a much more effective way to work.

3. MANAGE EXPECTATIONS

Set up your signature block to advise others that you only check emails at certain times of day, and let recipients know how they can reach you urgently, whether it’s by text or phone call.

4. KEEP YOUR INBOX TO A MINIMUM

Clearing out your inbox will ensure you don’t miss a thing.

There are two ends of the spectrum, but it’s important to be smart about using email so that you can make the most of this tool and still breakaway from checking your inbox every five minutes.