But I Really Need Some Printing Done!
By Ron Rosenberg
You can have the most creative and effective marketing strategy ever invented. You can identify a niche market so hungry for what you’re offering that people will stand in the rain for hours to buy it. You can set up the best e-commerce solution in your industry. But it doesn’t make a difference if you can’t deliver.
I speak with so many people who put effort into getting new business that they actually neglect their existing customers, and find themselves in the puzzling position of filling a bucket and still watching the level fall instead of rising.
Of course, if they only saw the large gaping hole at the bottom, they’d know right away what the problem was. Here’s a perfect example.
Do You Need Some Printing?
I recently spoke at a small regional conference. In making my normal rounds through the vendor exhibits, I was drawn to one booth in particular. The company was one of several printing companies exhibiting there – but instead of having the name of the company on the banner, its banner communicated a specific benefit.
The woman at the booth was collecting business cards, and in return, promised to send me a special report, “Ten Things You Should Know Before Selecting A Printer.”
I liked this for two reasons. First, we were actually looking for a new printer at the time and it turns out that this company was based in our general area. But more importantly, I was impressed with the thought that went into its presence at the show.
They had a means of attracting traffic to the booth, a specific purpose for being there, and a well thought out follow-up sequence for after the show. For the record, most exhibitors don’t have a clue why they’re at the show other than to collect business cards or “swipe” as many attendee badges as possible.
So I added my business card to the pile and left the booth confident that I was in good hands. It turns out I wasn’t.
Where's My Information?
By the end of the week, I hadn’t received anything from this company. That’s okay, I figured, they were still getting caught up from the trip. The following week? Still nothing. Three weeks out? Not a thing. As I’m writing this, it’s now been nearly six weeks since this show, and I have no expectation whatsoever that I’m ever going to hear from this company.
And that’s a shame, because I have about $2,000 worth of printing to do over the next several months, and about three times that amount by the end of the year.
I don’t have any intention of calling to remind them that I’m waiting for information – if they can’t do what they promised at the show in a timely manner – or even at all – how can I depend on them to deliver my printing on time?
Here are three specific things you can do to make sure you deliver on the promises you make in your marketing efforts:
1. Do what you say you will – I know this may seem like “Customer Service 101” but you would be amazed at how frequently companies fail in this simple rule of business. On second thought, you probably wouldn’t be surprised. I’ll bet you can think of an example in just the last month where someone at work or at home didn’t follow through.
2. Respond quickly – when people “raise their hands” and express interest in what you have to offer, you have to be on top of that right away. Interest is a quirky thing – people can be “over-the-edge” excited about something one minute and completely disinterested the next. The benefits you offer to your customers are of no use if someone decides not to do business with you.
3. Follow up – even though people respond or request information, they might be busy, distracted, or simply out of the office when it arrives. Smart marketers understand that you have to send at least three communications to someone who is interested.
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