The Rules of Engagement
Let’s say you were at a social party on a Saturday night and you strike up a conversation with someone saying “so… where do you work?” The reply… “Ed’s been here 23 YEARS!” You comment… “What?” They continue with “Yah, were adding 50,000 square feet for new production and we just purchased two XK 35 benders.” Politely… you bail.
Well that’s really how newsletter marketing comes across.
I have worked with many manufacturing companies over the years and the marketing conversations sound a lot alike.
The rules of engagement are the same at a cocktail party as they are in a business outreach program.
In a social setting to attract new friends and keep current friends you need to:
- Show sincere interest in the person you’re having a conversation with
- Be entertaining, insightful or fun
- Remember their name (WOW, this is a big one!)
- Differentiate yourself (what makes you unique, cool, fun & interesting)
- Don’t try to speak over their heads (don’t be that guy… the acronym dropper)
- Stay in touch with the person (connect with them on Facebook, LinkedIn ..)
All seems pretty simple, right?
So, how do we use all this great new technology, the right voice to attract new customers and cross sell to existing customers?
1. Show sincere interest in your customers
If new equipment or technology is added, how will it solve the customer’s problems or enhance their experience? Quicker turnaround, better quality, more control and better insight, this allows them to reduce their inventory and save money …. You get the idea.
2. Be insightful, entertaining or fun
Everyone likes to hear great news about their industry… or their kids.
Example: Our industry ROCKS! Gartner published a study in January 2014 that sited the 3D printing industry is growing at a rate of 21% per year! Congratulations to all the people we serve in the 3D printing industry!
3. Remember their name
Really? I still receive some newsletters that say “Dear Valued Customer.” If I was so valued, wouldn’t you have remembered my name? Personalization is key to conversion! (There will be additional information and discussions on this topic coming soon in a future post).
4. Differentiate your company
This is a great tip, the I would hope so rule! Never make a statement that the reply would be “I would hope so.” Common examples: “We have great customer service…I would hope so” or ”we have excellent quality… I would hope so, as opposed to marginal quality?” Or “our staff is well trained… I would hope so.”
Here is the best taking care of a customer video I have ever seen. Southwest Airlines posted this on their blog: Warning, you may get a little teary eyed watching this video.
They didn’t just say we have great customer care…they showed you what great customer care looks like!
5. Don’t speak over your customers heads
When people drop acronyms that I don’t know, I spend most of the conversation trying to figure out the acronym and I stop paying attention to the conversation. You’ve done this right?
I always get the acronym wrong in the end.
6. Staying in touch
Social media, events, and marketing automation are all great ways to stay connected by delivering relevant content that the customer and prospect is really interested in.
I work with companies that exhibit at tradeshows, before our involvement the number of follow up calls or touch point’s post show averaged 0-3. That’s like meeting someone, having an awesome time and saying “I’ll call you next week” and you never do. Then say, “I don’t know why we never got together”… HMMM?
Tradeshow post marketing is a great way to develop new customers and quantify the products and services they are interested in. Tip; send out an email the same day the attendee visited your booth, Make it friendly, and personal.
Example: Hey John, thanks for stopping by the booth today. As promised here is a link to our website and I will reach out to you next week to see if we can help you.
Open rates and click through rates during and right after the show is almost 2.5 times higher than our normal open and click rates.
Make new friends! It’s all about reaching out, being interesting, relevant – and, oh yeah … Don’t forget to Speak Human!