This one tip will dramatically improve your e-mails and all of your marketing communications. So basically, when you get e-mails if you think of your inbox, it’s full of spam, full of annoying stuff, the stuff you don’t want to read, it’s all corporate, it’s all boring.
If you ever send a message to a mate, to a friend, your subject line will be something like, “Hey Mike, check this.” And then the subject will just be diving straight in and you won’t even mention Mike because it’s just to Mike.
You’d be saying, “You know that thing we discussed the other day, well here’s the link to it. And I’m going to be looking…” You know, you are just straight in there, it’s just short, it’s just brief and say at the end it just says “Jon.”
How about if you could write to your clients, or your potential clients, just like that? Well, you can. And more importantly, you should.
Who Are My Potential Customers?
First of all, you need to know who is your ideal, potential customer, client. And the way you’re going to work that out is by building up a sort of an average profile. You may think to yourself “How on earth do I do that?”
So I will say, hands up who has a customer. Put your hand up because if you have got a business, I am going to assume you have a customer or a client, or two.
So it doesn’t matter how many you have got, start with the most important ones, the ones that buy from you the most often, who pay their bills on time and who spend the most money.
And simply ask them, phone them or even better, use it as an excuse to go and visit them and to say “Hey, we’re just upgrading something in our marketing and our backup stuff and we discovered, we want to know more about who our typical perfect client and you are, so I just want to ask you a couple of questions just to get a sort of get an overview, if that’s okay.
And by the way why I am here, I have got a free sample and here’s a box of chocolate and here is a bunch of flowers for being such a great client you know. Etc. etc.
Build Up a Pattern
So you can build up a pattern, you don’t have one to say how old are you? Are you married? But build up a general pattern and what you’re looking for are things that would help.
You see, you don’t want to ask them fifty questions because people will get annoyed and will get bored.
So ask them, when you first bought from us, how many alternatives were there? Were there other companies? Were there many? What kind of made you pick us?
And then when you bought from us, what makes you keep on coming back? Is it the price, is in the service? You know, if they don’t answer straightaway give them some encouragement. But note down these things. Visit them and start to build a pattern.
Now you can make a judgment, you can think, “Oh most of our customers are men, most of our customers are women, most of our customers look like in their 50s.” And you can ask them by the way, ask them their job specifics, what do you actually do at your company?
Because someone might be the Managing Director, or something Director, but they may have a responsibility for purchasing stuff for sites or something like that.
So you need to know what their job is relating to purchasing your services or products, because that is quite important.
Know Their Responsibility
So for instance, I am the Managing Director but it doesn’t mean that every single managing director has the same needs as me.
So you need to know why do they buy it. In my business, there are certain things that although, in the fire protection business, there are certain things, although I do not work day to day in, that people have to ask me as a major policy buying change.
For instance, our supplier of fire extinguishers, if my staff wanted to change it, there would have to be a sit down with me because that is a major change, we have used the same supplier in this business and my previous business for twenty odd years and they’re the biggest and so on.
But other things, I don’t care. Buying printer toners, office supplies, printing, it doesn’t really matter. So there are certain things it would be good to know if you were my supplier.
You can put all this together and then you write to them. But once you put it together, you want to develop a picture of someone.
So, to make it better, make it more effective, give that person a name, they have to have a name. So you have to imagine this is a real person.
Get a Picture
Now the next step is to get a picture. Don’t just imagine, find a picture. So you can use all of the stock images sites and there are loads of royalty-free stock image sites.
If you go to the marketingforowners.com website, and click here or just go to the search bar and type in “royalty-free images” and you will find I think two or three articles listing a whole load of places to get free images.
But look through those, find a picture of someone and if they seem to look like it works, grab it, pick it, print it out, jot their name underneath.
Print it out so it looks like a postcard, a photo from if you had a mate, if you had a girlfriend or a boyfriend or whatever and you had it on the side of your monitor, a little bit of sticky blue tack and the name, or something like that, like that remind yourself who it is.
Now I am going to keep on referring to Mike because mine is Mike. But once you build this up,, how old are they? Are they married? What does the wife do? How many kids have the got? How old are the kids? Build a picture.
Let me quickly read through mine, I am going to explain about mine.
Marketing for Owners Persona Customer
Mike, he is 45, he’s got a wife, his wife Sarah is a part-time nurse. Their kids, Suzanne and Jake are 15 and 13, Jake is 13.
In his daily life it takes him fifteen minutes to drive to work. Outside of work hours, he spends most of his time doing paper work, finishing quotes, invoicing clients in front of the TV. Sometimes he goes out and sees his friends at the pub.
In his business, he runs a local printing business. He’s been in business for five years, he’s got three members of staff in addition to him.
Most of his customers are local. He prides himself on keeping his customers happy, so his retention rate has been good until recently. And thanks to a good retention rate, he’s not really had to market his services in the past.
But that the problem, recently customers have started to tell him that they can get the same service quicker and cheaper from Solo Press or Vista Print and some customers have even started doing their own printing in-house. This is affecting business and sales are dropping.
Now declining sales have got Mike worried, it keeps him awake at nights and he’s not quite sure what to do.
He doesn’t want to worry his wife and he doesn’t want to worry his kids. She’s very understanding, but she’s not very business minded and he feels she wouldn’t understand anyway even though she would try to help.
He doesn’t know any other business people really to look to and share his worries with, so he feels quite isolated. (It is very lonely being a boss.)
But he’s most concerned, he won’t be able to take his family on their annual overseas holiday this year. He wants to do something about it but he’s not sure what.
Occasionally he surfs the Internet and he comes across get rich quick schemes and how to make money and he knows these aren’t realistic so he keeps on searching hoping to find the answer, and so on.
Now this is Mike and so when I write an e-mail, when I write a message, I am writing to Mike, I am talking to Mike now. Hi Mike. You know this Mike, because we have talked about this before.
But I’m talking to one person, I have a full picture of Mike. There is more, by the way, I just gave you a snapshot. We have a whole page written, I know lots more about Mike about what he does and his problems and how I can help him.
Most importantly, Mike should join the Owners Club because the Owners Club is full of like minded people, of business owners, small, medium sized business owners who have no one to turn to, who want some help, who can turn and get strategies from somebody who can help you because Mike does not know what he does not know.
I know that he does not know what he does not know and I can help him find out in relation to marketing and business because I happened to have built businesses that are successful and I have been there and I have had all these problems, I can empathize with him.
Tuesday Toolbox Tip
Today, toolbox tip, very very quick because this one went on for a bit. This is simple, my toolbox tip for today is Linked in, yes, that Linked In. Yes, whether it’s the free or the paid, just start with the free, Linked In is being bought by Microsoft, you must have heard. That means linked in is going to get a lot of publicity over coming time and if Microsoft do stuff, Microsoft owns Skype, they are actually quite good at running businesses. Click here to instantly download our FREE Book “The 71 Ultimate Marketing Tools”
So Linkedin will start to get integrated into Office products and other things that Microsoft do on Bing and so on.
It will start to be everywhere. So get on LinkedIn, make sure your profile is up to date. If you join the Owners Club, you get access, free access to our LinkedIn 101 course along with the Facebook 101, the Twinter 101 and the Website 101. That’s for another story.
Anyway, join it, update your profile, I’ll see you tomorrow.