Which cellular service do you use?
I’m on Verizon Wireless. The service is fine but sometimes the billing and customer service can feel like tooth extraction.
But, as we’ll discuss in a moment, they do teach us a thing or two about marketing.
I’ve been using the same cell for almost three years now so it’s clear I don’t worry about having a trendy phone. Hard to believe, eh? It IS possible to not bother keeping up with the Joneses.
My only data plan is text; no internet access or navigation. With a contract that has expired I’m on a month-to-month service basis (if I’m not mistaken).
Verizon now sends me offers that stress I have an upgrade due. These postal mailings are personalized with my first name on them and everything. They identify my old, crappy model phone and point me to the latest, shiny stuff.
Trust me, Verizon sends some of the prettiest little brochures and mailers to entice. Sometimes I flip through their sales pamphlets just to see how they’ve structured their offer.
They know how to compel their target buyer with snazzy photos and big calls to action.
Why does this matter?
Verizon knows where I am in their sales cycle. They know my contract is up, my phone is outdated, and they want to retain me as a customer. They have processes in place to flag certain account activity to upsell me and so they don’t lose me to a competitor.
How are you monitoring your customer base? Do you know when it’s their birthday? How about when they last purchased from you? Do they open your emails and click on the links you provide?
If these are all unknowns, then you know what your homework assignment is for today.
Hold your customers by the hand
Sticking with the Verizon example, they’re smart. They are telling me exactly what to do next. Their mailers identify:
- My exact account standing
- Account “perks” that are due to me
- Which number to dial or page to visit to claim the perks, what to ask for, and what to expect
- How to take the next step
- Incentives for the next step including discounts on new gear and promotional periods
What are you doing to make it easy for your customers to take the next step? If you’re making people guess what you want them to do then you’re going to struggle, my friend. Be bold and advise them on what the next best step is for them to take.
Even if that means you have to put on your scary sales hat and ask them directly to buy a great product that you offer.
They’ll thank you for it.
Knowing your client base and having something to sell (or upsell) them is all well and good. Connecting the dots between the two is what dreams are made of, right?
Synthesize what you know about your buyers and map out the sales life cycle. Which offers will you make, and when, to extend their account lifetime? How will you share that offer message with your buyer?
How will you bundle your services or products during promotional periods?
How often will you send your newsletter emails and follow-up postal mailers? Or will you simply pick up the phone and dial? What language will you use in your correspondence to trigger an action?
Every few weeks Verizon sends me beautiful brochures urging me to jump on the new tech bandwagon; they’re pretty convincing. Can you “do” convincing? (maybe not yet, and that’s okay, but you have to practice).
Do the work
Yes, market research is a pain.
Setting up systems and processes is dull work for most of us.
Yes, holding people by the hand and guiding them to the next phase of your sales cycle is tiresome work.
Yes, following-up is time consuming and you’d rather be doing work that directly impacts the bottom line.
Too bad. You need to do the dull, hard, boring work because that’s how you’ll succeed. Get these things right and maybe, just maybe, you’ll one day be raking it in like our dear friends at Verizon.
Have you ever used your junk mail for marketing inspiration?
Have you given thought to your follow-up process?