One bad habit that is leaking your business money

by Griselda K Togobo | Follow me on Twitter HERE

One bad habit that is leaking your business money.

Lets start with a little story. My family visited the most amazing Italian restaurant recently. We had such a wonderful experience that we kept talking about the restaurant for weeks. We even vowed to go back there before the end of the year. We were that impressed. Now, did we go back there? NO we didn’t. Why? We got busy!  Like everybody else, we got busy with work, the kid and life in general. So time just flew by.

Why keeping in touch is the smartest thing every business owner can do

Imagine if a few days or weeks after our visit, whilst the experience was still fresh in our minds, the restaurant sent us a time limited vouch to use on a return visit. Would this have helped us to go back to the restaurant? Oh yes! I really wanted to go back so it would have made it easier for me. I would have had a reason to go back because every day I drove by the restaurant, I make a mental note to go back. I just never prioritised it because I had no reason to. If the restaurant had been a bit more proactive and kept in touch with us, I would have been reminded and motivated to go back to that restaurant and happily handed over some cash.

Keeping in touch would have been quite easy to do as well. All they had to do was to ask for our postal or email addresses. Was this a lost opportunity for the restaurant? Ohhhh yes! Every client or prospect you don’t follow-up on has an opportunity cost.  The opportunity cost is the sale you would have made, had you followed up on that opportunity.

So you see where, I’m going with this. The habit of not keeping in touch with people is more than just a bad habit. It is hurting your business and sabotaging your business’ growth.

 Getting started: an easy way to keep in touch

The cheapest and easiest way to keep in touch is via email.

E-mail marketing is a cheap and easy way of keeping in touch with a group of people without breaking the bank. Most people have email addresses these days. The top 3 email providers: Hotmail has 360 million registered users, Google has 193.3 million users and yahoo has 273 million users which makes it more than likely that your client probably has an email address [Source: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/01/11/e-mail-service-safest/]

Technology has also made it possible to analysis the performance of these emails, in terms of their social reach, open rates, etc. The Internet has changed everything and even more is going to change as it develops. Research by the global consulting firm Mckinsey has stated that “web-intensive SMEs grow twice as fast, export twice as much, and are more profitable than non-Web-enabled” [Source: http://blogs.hbr.org/kanter/2011/05/the-internet-changes-everythin.html]

So if you are not online already, I strongly encourage you to get online as soon as you can

Because of the ease and value of email marketing, a lot of businesses use it to the point of annoyance. However, if you keeping offering your email list something of value then they will value your emails above all the noise and chose to retain your subscription. Even despite the best of intentions, some people will inevitably unsubscribe, but don’t worry as this is normal in business. Take consolation from the fact that some of these people may never buy from you anyway.

Although, I hate unsolicited emails, I brighten up considerably when I received emails that give me something that I already want (ebooks, videos, vouchers and exclusive offers). The question is, what can you offer that can be of value to your prospective clients?

This is just one of the basic tips, I give clients when I start working with them.  Once implemented they are immediately able to get feedback and responses from fans and past clients who are honestly happy to be in regularly contact with them.

If you are still in doubt about the power of emails, then read my good friend, Ian Brodie’s fantastically researched post the truth about email. I interviewed him for my inspired by series which you can also access here: Be inspired by Ian Brodie.

Keeping in touch is a guaranteed way to increase sales. Grow your business by keeping in touch with past, current and future clients. Hopefully this post has convinced you of the benefits of keeping in touch with your clients – email marketing is just one option.

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