Copyright 2006 Willie Crawford
While many online marketers struggle to build a successful business, mine grows almost effortlessly. I’m going to share with you today the “rare” tools that I use to make that happen.
Briefly, my seldom-used tools are: actually caring about your customers; a lot of actual customer contact; and giving them tremendous value. Please allow me to provide examples of how to actually implement each. I’ll use examples from my own business so that you can see how EASY they are to implement.
Rarely-Used Tool Number One – Actually caring about your customers:
I’ve witnessed scams where retirees invested thousands of dollars in programs where they were told that all they needed to do was plug in traffic. Then they were offered this plug-in traffic for a few thousand dollars more. In every case, that untargeted traffic failed to produce many… if any… sales.
Having a HUGE list, I’ve often been phoned and asked to promote a program with a mailing or two to my list. I’ve been told that I just needed to plug into the system, allow them to “mine” my list, and they would build me a nice residual income. Ideal prospects from my list would identify themselves, they’d be signed up under me, and I could just sit back and collect the passive income.
I’ve seen this scenario in action before, so I do KNOW that this would generate a nice passive income stream for me. However, I also know that many of those recruited would not fare nearly as well. So, I’ve turned down all such offers.
Actually caring about your customers also often means telling customers NOT to buy some hot new product.
During many product launches, my customers have emailed me and asked if I felt that a given product was right for them. They often asked me at the same time if I had an affiliate url (if I had not actively promoted it to them). As often as not, I’ve advised them not to buy the product. If one of your customers hasn’t even finished going through the last major product that they purchased, perhaps you should advise them the same.
Rarely-Used Tool Number Two – Lots of actual customer contact:
First of all, realize that people buy from those that they know, like, and trust. Part of that puzzle is allowing them to feel that they know you. Online, one of the most effective tools for facilitating this is actually allowing them to speak to you, or at least hear your voice.
I accomplish this by “investing” 90 minutes of my time each week in a free networking and brainstorming call. The calls are actually very little work because other experts gladly join these calls and contribute freely.
Most Saturdays, between 11:00am and 12:30pm CST, I host these free networking and brainstorming calls. These calls are designed to allow my subscribers, clients, and contacts to connect, and also to help everyone involved improve their online marketing.
Some weeks we do reviews of 2-3 websites. Other weeks we have open Q&A. Other weeks I have “featured” guests, or I do a semi-lecture.
When we do website reviews, I email everyone slated to be on the call with a list of the sites, so that they can look at the sites before the call. Then everyone is free to offer their constructive feedback during the call.
One recent call was an all-open-discussion call. Topics covered included: methods and tools for combating or preventing email spam; the pros and cons of using private label articles, and ways to use them effectively; search engine optimization issues; and third-party credit card processors. As you might imagine, it was a very constructive call. All of these free networking and brainstorming calls have been very well-received. They all build customer relations, and they all allow existing and future client to connect with me (and each other) on a deeper level.
By the way, you can register for these call, get call-in details, and get instructions on how to submit your site for a free review at: http://williecrawford.com/free-brainstorming-calls.html
Another “almost effortless” customer contact tool involves sending many clients birthday or holiday cards. This shows them that you think of them as more than just a source of sales. We enter many customers, whose birth dates we have, into a database. Then we get an automated reminder a few days before, but the system can be set to automatically send them a card.
I use a system called “Send Out Cards” for this. This system allows me to send the same card to a batch of customers, or send a unique card to select customers. For those that get the “same” card, the card is still personalized with the customers’ information. The system allows you to indicated where personal data, such as names, children’s names, etc., should be inserted. The system can be completely automated (like an autoresponder) if you choose.
I send these fully-personalized cards, semi-automatically, for about $1 each (including first-class postage).
By the way, these are real, printed, full-color greeting cards, that you send right from your computer desktop. You can check out the system that I use for this at: http://SendOutCards.com/willie
Rarely-Used Tool Number Three – Deliver tremendous value:
My mentors often use the phrase “under-promise and over-deliver.” This is just the opposite of what you see most hypey marketers doing today.
However, this is fairly easy to do. In fact, all of the things I mentioned above are a part of that formula.
This can be accomplished by giving customers numerous unannounced gifts with an order. It can also be in the form of making sure that every product you sell is worth many times what you charge for it.
Yes, value is in the eyes of the beholder. However, you can and should examine every product that you’re considering offering to your customers very carefully. If, when examining a product, you feel that you would not be absolutely thrilled if you personally had purchased it from someone else, then you should not offer that product to your customers.
Go back and study each of the tools and techniques outlined above. They are very powerful, and really do require very little effort. Used correctly, they will endear you to your customers, and allow your business to grow at a mind-boggling pace. Look for similar things that you can start doing in your business today.