Educate Your Customers
By Dr. Sakira Jackson
The Chicago Defender is elated to announce the introduction of a business column by Dr. Sakira Jackson that will provide you with pertinent information that will assist you in developing your business acumen, whether you are a CEO, president, small-business owner or entrepreneur.
I’d like to talk to you about the three most important marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.
1. In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
2. Follow-up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow-up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
3. Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.
None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!
Here are the key steps for putting together your marketing tools:
1. Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
2. Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
3. Follow up with your three-step process from above.
4. Develop systems for contact follow-through, quality control standards and customer service.
5. Develop a post-sale follow-up system to keep lines of communication open and build on your current relationship, which increases future purchases.
“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” — Peter Drucker, management consultant
Here’s another one I love from an icon:
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” — Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company
This lesson has offered you the tools to put together a marketing plan that can be used over and over to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way.