90 days. It’s all it takes to go from hero to oblivion in your customers’ minds.
It’s a shocking fact most business people have no clue about. And I’ve seen it play out time and time again.
It was first brought to my attention when reading Wendy Evan’s book, “How To Get New Business In 90 Days And Keep It Forever”.
Having worked for the likes of Saatchi & Saatchi, Thomas Cook Travel, Intercontinental Hotels, she discovered a frightening statistic.
If a customer doesn’t hear from you in 90 days they forget about you should someone else offer them a similar product or service on day 91. And it doesn’t matter how well your client knows you. The 90 day rule held fast.
Which is why instituting some form of keep in touch mechanism is critical to your continued engagement with your prospects and clients.
I vividly remember a call from a reader years ago.
A printer, he recounted how he’d provided business cards and stationary to a client for over 20 years. One day he happened to be delivering supplies directly and noticed a heap of other products in the warehouse. Stuff that he could have supplied, but hadn’t.
Surprised, he asked who had done the job. “Oh, so and so came in and offered to do this. I needed it and gave him the order.”
“But I could have done this for you too.”, exclaimed the printer.
“I didn’t know you could. I just thought you did simple printing.”
The job was, wait for it… worth over $500,000.
And it went to a blow in. Completely bypassing an established supplier simply because he made arguably two cardinal mistakes.
Mistakes I bet you’ve made. I know I have.
The first is he assumed his client knew everything about his products and services. He didn’t. And two, he didn’t keep in regular contact so his name would be top of mind.
Like and actor who gets stereotyped, your clients will have a natural tendency to pigeonhole you. They’ll know you for something and never consider all the other things you could solve for them unless you tell them. And keep telling them.
But telling them isn’t enough either.
They’re busy with their lives and their issues.
You need to understand their circumstances and proactively come up with solutions which you duly present.
Show them how you can make their lives easier. Make more money or whatever it is they want to achieve.
Make it easy for them to buy.
I realise this level of attention isn’t always possible, especially if you have hundreds of clients.
In that case, segment your clients into A’s, B’s & C’s. The top A clients get personalised attention. Regular phone calls etc.
The B’s could get touched by your staff or a call centre.
The key is no matter how large or small your organisation, you must have a regular keep in touch mechanism or in 90 days you’ll slip seamlessly from their minds, potentially missing out on major sales and profits.
Everyone though needs to get a regular newsletter with good quality content which keeps your name in front of them. The newsletter can have offers, case studies and industry news. It’s goal is to move clients up the ladder increasing their engagement and spend.
And finally, I’d better follow my own advice and mention areas we help clients.
We work with growth oriented SME’s who aren’t growing at the rate they’d like.
By concentrating on direct marketing (both outbound and inbound) we set up lead generation and keep in touch systems facilitating a steady stream of new prospects.
But generating leads is only half the equation. We work on systemising your selling processes so you convert more prospects into good clients.
We wrap all this into a strategic coaching and mentoring program which has seen some clients double or even triple revenue and profit within 2 to 3 years.
Oh, here’s something I bet you didn’t know. We offer presentation skills training and coaching so you can become a better communicator. And often get called in to resolve major conflict between valued employees (or owners) in businesses.
So if you want to experience growth regardless of the vagaries of the economy, drop us a note and we’ll go from there.