COMMUNICATION OVERLOAD…when I started working as a Salesperson at IBM Canada Ltd. in the 1970s, the advent of the personal computer was just on the horizon. Working for a high-tech company like IBM was tremendously educational and very exciting! Everything we did was on the leading edge of technology at the time. At some point an in-house communication network was created that was the advent of the "paperless office". Very exciting, very efficient, and very advanced. Strictly an internal system, all employees had the ability to send messages to one another by typing it on our computer screens and clicking "send". It was called PROFs and was the precursor to today's e-mail. No big deal anymore… quite the contrary… Salespeople can now send messages instantaneously to literally hundreds of Past Clients and Centers of Influence by the simple click of a button. It's easy to maintain contact with your database. Actually it is now too easy to stay in touch and that can create and "communication overload".
Here is your ACTION STEP… in today's fast-paced Sales environment, there is a great risk of alienating your client base by being too visible… especially if you do not have a clear "let's stay in touch" strategy. Two thoughts for managing this dilemma:
1. Repeat and referral business is a critical part of maintaining a high sales volume. Do you have a plan?
2. Staying in touch is important… what is the right frequency and what is the right media to use?
Consider this approach:
1. Personal contact is still critical…a phone call every 90 days is about right.
2. A monthly information based e-mail newsletter should be next.
3. Consider a surface mail newsletter every 90 days (some people will not read your e-mails).
4. The 180° Approach (never thought I would be suggesting this… but it now makes sense)… there is a certain power in writing a Personal Note to selected individuals on occasion. No one does this anymore so it will stand out! (a thank you note, an acknowledgment for achievement, etc.)
5. Be sure to AFR (ask for referrals). Staying in touch is one thing, it is another to remind your contact that you are "open for business". Do not be shy about this issue. You are in the Sales Business, right?
With the ease of sending e-mails Salespeople now run the risk of "communication overload". The experts tell us that less than 20% of mass e-mails are actually read by the recipients. Create a consistent strategy to stay in touch with your database. Find the balance between "too much and too little". The average consumer receives 50+ e-mails per day. Create a mixture of various contact methods. Be imaginative. Are you being read? Are you being relevant? Mix it up. NO Excuses.