A recent post covered texts, E-mails, and F2F methods of communicating with your clients. Now it’s time for delving into some other methods of getting your message through to the right people.
Phones. Smart cell phones now comprise 56% of the United States cell phone market. Land lines – yes, those phones you plugged into a wall socket – are heading toward extinction, along with phone directories because individuals now have access to the Internet, E-mail, and so much more … through their phones.
Keep in mind, however, that talking to someone on the phone is still a vital part of the communication process. You should know what you intend to say when you call someone, whether it’s a simple opportunity to catch-up with a friend or relative or an important business discussion. Be prepared. If you know your business, you should be able to answer any questions that arise off the cuff.
Time is precious, especially in business. That means when you call another business person, respect their time and try to keep the conversation on point. If you are calling a customer or client, be considerate of their time but take the time you need to take care of the reason you called them. Be patient, and listen, especially if they call you. It’s okay to tell someone you don’t have the answer, but if you promise to get it for them, do it! Find the answer as quickly as possible and get back to them … or they’ll find the answer somewhere else, probably from a competitor.
If you put them on hold, respond back to them within 17 seconds that you’re still looking or with the answer. That’s a short amount of time, but anything longer may lose them. If you have an automated on hold system, make sure there’s a message that expresses appreciation for remaining on hold that comes up every 17 seconds.
There’s an old saying: “If you don’t have time to do something right, when will you have time to do it over?” It is applicable to phone conversations, so take the time to slow down and get clarity from your phone call.
Website. What is all too common is the business that spends money to build a website and when it’s finished, the company figures the site is done, nothing more needs to be done with it, so it’s forgotten. What many business owners fail to realize is that the world wide web is constantly changing and web users – potential customers – are more likely than ever to check out a business online first … before they make a purchasing decision.
Your business website needs to be kept current and relevant to the consumer. Focus on the consumer first! The key to communicating with clients and prospective clients through a website is RELEVANCE. Your website’s content needs to be relevant to the search engine criteria people are using to find your products and/or services.
Think of your website as an online billboard or store. If your prospects are looking to purchase stainless steel water bottles, they’re going to use their web browser – Google, Bing, Torch, Safari, Yahoo, or whatever – to search for “Stainless Steel Water Bottles.” The spiders that do the searching will pull up references to “stainless,” ” steel,” “water,” and “bottles.” If your site has those key words and other search engine optimizing information, your odds of coming up on the first page have increased. If you also have relevant content about stainless steel water bottles and images of those bottles, along with pricing, shipping information, colors, and everything you ever wanted to know about stainless steel water bottles, your website is far more than likely going to come up on page one of the search results. Add some videos, a blog, and other social media mentions and links and your website will generate some business for your business.
Your website should get your customers’ and prospects’ attention, clearly communicate with them about what makes your business different, and provide them with the information they need to make a decision to go with your company.
These are two more ways to convey your message effectively.