In a recent post, I wrote about some basic ways to create engaged customers.
But if you want to take your customer engagement to the “next level,” here’s what to do: Ask for your customers’ opinions about different aspects of the business.
Asking someone for their opinion about a meaningful business topic is the fastest way to create rapport. Everyone feels their opinion is important, and if you’ve got the good sense to ask me for mine, I can’t help but like you more. It’s as immutable as the law of gravity.
Here are some examples of how you can engage your customers:
• What did you think of our event?
• What do you think of the new product?
• Have you met our new person?
• What do you think would be a cool promotion?
• Where else should we conduct group rides?
• What should we stop doing here? What should we start to do? What should we continue to do?
Not interested in your customers’ opinions? You better be, or your future could be limited. If you want to sell more faster, you need to find, keep, and engage customers.
Creating Perpetual Harvest
I liken marketing to growing crops. There’s the seeding, the tending and then the harvesting — much like finding, engaging and keeping customers.
Take a look at this Venn diagram to see what I mean:
1. If you find customers and keep them but don’t engage them, you’ll have dead crops.
Tip: Perform a database search of active customers and see what you get.
2. If you keep customers and engage them but don’t find new ones, you’ll never see new sprouts.
Tip: Perform another search for new list adds in the last three months.
3. If you find them and engage them but can’t keep them, you’ll need to do constant reseeding.
Tip: Analyze your per-unit marketing expenses. Have they gone up?
4. If you find customers, engage those customers and keep them, you’ll be able to reap a perpetual harvest — year after year.
Tip: What do your YOY unit sales and gross margins look like?
This research is telling. There are no silver bullets. No one is coming to rescue you. There is no single new product, no one advertising campaign, no specific finance promotion that will save the day.
Here’s what it’s going to take: self-reliance, ingenuity and good old-fashioned hard work.
Let’s get to it.