Friday, June 1, 2007

Out of Sight...Out of Mind

When was the last time you contacted your entire customer base? If you’re an author or speaker, your customers are your readers, listeners, event planners, church leaders, etc. It only takes six months for most people in this group to forget that you exist and search for someone else to help them. You cannot reach your full potential if you don’t stay in regular communication with your audience. Regardless of your field, there are several ways to keep people focused on you. Check out these helpful strategies:

Regular Newsletters – Junk email floods the average Inbox, so print newsletters tend to be more effective. Use both print and email to extend your reach. Keep articles brief and make the content 75% audience-focused and 25% sales-focused. Quote other sources if you need new ideas. Send your newsletters at least once a quarter, if not monthly.

Personal Contact – Trust is best built through relationships. Take time to reach key contacts and prospects with a phone call, email, or hand-signed letter. Get out of the office and invite people to meet you for lunch or coffee. Monitor their ministry sphere and become a source of information. Don’t focus on selling people, concentrate on understanding their life and needs. They’ll be more inclined to book you if they feel like you care.

Send Items of Value – People respond when you give them something of value. For example, offer coupons on a regular basis. Send a thank-you gift after an event to meeting planners. Mail an interesting book or article to prospects. Organize a contest and encourage your audience to participate. It doesn’t need to be expensive, just recurring.

Trade Show Meetings – If you know where your audience congregates, meet them there. Host a get-together, sponsor an event, teach a workshop, or network with the attendees. Face-to-face time is the best way to stay connected with customers.

Ask for Help – Solicit genuine support from your audience by asking for their opinion on your message. Create surveys, polls, or request reviews of your products. Ask a select group to give input into an article or book you’re writing. Create ways to make it comfortable for your audience to exchange information. Doing so builds a stronger bond.

You risk little to over-communicate, but you risk a lot if you under-communicate. If you’re an author or speaker, absence does not make the heart grow fonder. Stay in contact with your audience, and you’ll stay on their mind – especially when they’re ready to book you or buy your products.

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