You could have the most amazing product or service, a marketing plan that rocks, beautiful visuals to match and you’re still not getting the sales your heart desires because of a small oversight that is actually costing you sales.
Here are my top 3
peeves/ most overlooked things that could be costing you sales (and your reputation) and what to do about it:
Note: These things are ridiculously simple yet very often overlooked!
1. Remind everyone you know what you do.
Your social media profiles are not only for sharing funny cat videos and photos of your last holiday! No! You’ve spent a LONG time getting all those friends to look at your posts.
Tell them what your business does! Never assume your friends know what you are up to!
Most of the time they don’t.
They have their own lives, their own things going on. They can’t be expected to keep you top of mind when it comes to your business offers unless you remind them. Regularly.
One of the most neglected audiences is FRANK (Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances, Neighbours/Colleagues and Kids)
The power of word of mouth marketing will always win over a fancy poster or sales page.
Don’t worry about annoying your friends by telling them about a new launch or when you want to brag a bit about something you’ve done with your business – if they are true friends they’ll be more than happy to share and give you a virtual high five!
How should you reach out to them?
Go personal; pick up the PHONE (yes, the phone can be used to talk to other humans as well as check instagram)! Send an email to touch base, tell them what you are up to, and ask them to spread the word – most people are willing to help or at least keep you top of mind when it comes to referring you to someone.
WARNING: When you are reaching out the idea is to get them to help you spread the word about something newsworthy; an event, a sales, a show etc … save your sales pitch for when people come to you. Similarly, reaching out needs to be done with some decorum, in order for this to be effective you need to do this sparingly – sending out too many emails can have the reverse effect!
2. Reply to your emails.
Ok, you are probably thinking “eh? Is she serious? That’s a tip?”
Actually yes it is.
I am constantly amazed at how many people do NOT reply to emails or reply to emails days or weeks later.
I have lost count of the number of people who have bought from me because I replied to their enquiry (amongst other things!)
Remember: If someone has decided to write to you asking for more information it’s because they are usually looking for a solution NOW. The motivational factors that surround that initial email contact need to be addressed as soon as possible. (Keep an eye on hyper-active spam filters which hide your email gold too.)
Your inbox is where you want to get the party started, not on your Facebook page (although it may start on Facebook you want to direct it to email when necessary)!
And, consider this; replying to emails in a timely, thoughtful manners shows you actually care about your customers/clients and your business. It’s a direct reflection on how business operates!
- Taking 10 days to reply to a holiday rental enquiry can make the clients think “OMG, will they actually be there when we arrive? Will the place be cleaned on time … etc”.
If you are a coach or consultant, not replying to emails can make you look like you don’t care and if you offer email support clients will think “Huh, I bet they don’t even answer client emails, I’m not paying for that!”
- If you sell products, not replying to emails can make your customers think “Will they actually ship on time? Does this company even exist?”
Tips on how to reply to emails (and yes, if this is glaringly obvious make sure you are actually doing it!)
- Reply within 24hrs if you can. The sooner the better.
- Answer the question as well as you can.
If relevant, check out the links they have placed in the email or signature to get a feel of who they are and make reference to it in the email.
- Don’t be afraid to give away a few tips or suggestions to be demonstrative of how you can help (and get paid) down the road.
- Make sure your tone matches that of your other brand touch points (website, social media etc …) for example – if I was to be extremely formal in my emails and sign off “Yours sincerely” I think people would question if it was really me. Be consistent.
- Include a clear call to action – what do you want them to next? Book a session, buy something, tell a friend, go fly a kite? You decide.
- If you are too busy to answer emails then get an assistant to do it for you.
3. Reply to comments on social media
You don’t have to be on every social media channel there is out there, but make sure you are on top of them (or get someone to do it for you). A public comment or question, good or bad, needs a reply – it’s never a good idea to leave things unanswered for days or, worse, weeks.
If you get messages on your Facebook page answer them! Try moving the conversation to your email inbox to keep things professional (and if you’re like me, email is so much better to keep track of than Facebook messages).
DO thank people for sharing your stuff. NO one HAS to share your stuff. The fact that they do share your stuff is simply amazing and gratitude is important!
I know that it’s time consuming to reply to everyone but you can carve out a few minutes a day to thank those who have shared your delicious offerings (and technically done a whole bunch of free marketing work for you.)