Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is Your Customer Saying, "Make Me Smarter"?

Your customers have short memories. Your prospects' memories are even shorter. You spend a fortune finding prospects, making sales calls and presenting your products or services. Yet, two to four weeks later those same prospects have little recall of who you are or what you do. And worse yet, if a competitor happens to stop by a couple of months later, the prospect may have thought some more about the ideas you planted, despite having forgotten you, and the competitor gets the order! Bummer.

Customers ask themselves "What have you done for me -- lately?" And sometimes they can't answer the question on their own -- you and your products start looking to them like a familiar piece of old furniture.

What's the answer? Maintaining Front of Mind with your customers and clients -- overcoming the natural "decay curve" of human memory, as well as the obscurity bred by familiarity. If the idea of "Front of Mind" is new to you, click the icon for a video overview (turn up your sound).

A brilliant Front of Mind strategy surfaced in a recent Chief Executive Boards International meeting. One of our members summed up his customers' expectations as, "Make me smarter." Tell me something I don't know. Remind me of something I forgot. Expand my knowledge.

A tall order -- where are you going to get that kind of material? Here's what he does. He subscribes to a McKenzie newsletter, and reads it with his "customer hat" on. He combs each issue, looking for ideas that might be useful to any given customer, and then emails the info to them. After all, the customer didn't say he had to think up everything himself, did she?

I know a company that issues a well-read quarterly email newsletter, in which almost ALL the content is from other sources -- industry journals, business press, etc. It doesn't need to be original -- it needs to be relevant. And your value-added to that process is sorting through the blizzard of available info and sending your customers and prospects just the snippets they need. And, of course, a short footer plus your logo in the signature block is all it takes to remind them of who you are and what you do.

Every one of these "touches" renews your customers' or prospects' recall. And makes it a whole lot more likely that when they decide they need what you sell, you'll get the call. Isn't that worth a specific Front of Mind strategy?

If you have a Front of Mind strategy that's working for you, would you click "Comments" below and share it with others?

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Terry Weaver

Chief Executive Boards International

Chief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it

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