It seems we live in a world of black or white. Either we’re all in or not at all. Most of us treat our marketing and sales like this too.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but this last year I’ve seen an awful lot of customer and loyalty marketing. For every credit card transaction, I have a loyalty card. “You're our customer and we love you.”
Now don't get me wrong; I’m all into loyalty programs. Even if most of them are poorly designed and poorly executed, they’re still an attempt. Better than nothing.
We also still have the same old “throw up whatever and hope that something sticks” marketing. It doesn't matter if our targets don't have any idea who we are or have any intention of buying what we have to offer—we’re sure going to get in front of them. Hey, one in 100 is better than...well, I actually don't know if it’s better than anything.
It has to be one or the other. Wrong!
A couple of months ago, I stopped into a printer in Billings, MO, (where I live) to get a letterhead and business card quote. They will remain nameless. Now they have a good reputation, very nice facilities and were pleasant. I met them in person—not over the phone or online. I even showed enough interest to ask and receive a plant tour.
A day later I received my quote via e-mail. I decided not to pursue the job, but they didn’t know that because I never heard from anyone. No call. No further e-mails. Nothing. I can’t believe that business is so good that anyone who doesn’t buy upon first impression is not worthy of doing business with. But it seems like that.
They say it costs between five and 10 times more to get business from a new customer than from an existing one. Does this also apply to a prospect who has made effort to find who you are and ask for quote? I rather doubt it.
How many companies out there have drawers full of quotes that never turned into live jobs. What’s being done with them? Maybe a follow-up call...maybe? Or if a call is made, is it just a message?
Here’s my holiday project for all you:
Take a few minutes away from your driving around town delivering presents and cheer to those valued clients of yours.
Go through that quote drawer, that pile of business cards, that outdated contact list on your iPhone or BlackBerry and find those prospects that made that made the effort to give you a chance, a chance to do business with them.
Give them a little cheer. Who knows, once 2011 rolls around and everyone pulls their head out of the eggnog bowl...maybe they’ll give you another chance.For more...check out the bleedingEDGE Website and follow me on Twitter at @variable_edge.