by Jeff Davidson
Everyone knows the value of staying in touch with clients and customers, but is email alone your best bet? The phone can be used in wondrous ways because so many people have opted for email when it comes maintaining relations. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using the phone over the email notes and letters:
* The phone provides two way feed back, can stimulate sales, or learn of problems, which may be converted to additional opportunities to your company.
* Phone calls can be less time consuming and less expensive. However, we all can think of many instances in which this is not true.
* Many members of your staff might prefer phone calls to notes, and might be more effective in conversation than in writing.
* Some customers might regard see the call as an intrusion which happens less so when they receive a note via email.
* The call could be forgotten more quickly than a letter or note.
* Lots of busy signals, people not home, and incorrect dialing might render calling some what tedious.
For super powerful-stroking some owners and managers make direct calls themselves. This technique is not for everybody, and not to be used with every customer, unless perhaps you are in some form of contracting or services where a limited number of customers provide your entire revenue base.
Getting to Know You
By all means get to know as many customers on a name basis as possible. If you serve other businesses or large corporations learn the names of those people beyond your immediate contact. For example, if you sell tool and die products to a local manufacturer, learn the names of people in billing, shipping, quality control, and administration, not just in purchasing.
One of my stay in touch techniques as an author working with publishing houses is to learn the names of the marketing manager and the regional sales staff, the publicity manager, the foreign rights representative, various production editors and staff assistants, mail order representatives, and trade show and convention representatives.
Following completion of a book, in addition to a personal call, I write a letter to the publisher and the chief executive officer thanking them for the opportunity to work with their fine staff. On a frequent basis, I send notes to all the above individuals offering praise, recommendations, or information and tips that may help the sale of our mutual product, the book. Getting the names of the appropriate department managers and other people is becoming less difficult all the time.