Whenever I work with a new client, the first thing I do is an audit of their communications to date.
What I discover usually explains their lack lustre sales performance and frustration. In a nutshell, it’s lack of consistency.
Consistent sales demand consistent communication. Growing sales demand consistent and innovative communication.
If ever there was a demonstration of the ‘snowball effect’ it’s in the area of business / client communication.
Interestingly, it snowballs in both directions. The more you communicate, the more you sell. The less you communicate, the less you sell. The downward tendency is usually a lot quicker and more dramatic than the upward.
Selling through consistent communication is a little like the evolution of a personal relationship. It begins with a meeting and an initial impression. If there’s no communication after the initial meeting, the chances are that both parties will go on their way and perhaps never meet again.
However, if they do meet again, whether it’s by accident or design, the initial impression deepens into either a liking or not. Subsequent meetings will usually reinforce the intial impressions over time. Either way, the relationship develops.
In business, we all too often allow those initial meetings to pass like a summer breeze – welcome in the heat of the day for the cool relief, but never thinking to attempt to grasp onto it or gain an ability to bring it back again at will.
That’s a big mistake, but fortunately, it’s one that is easily rectified. If you’ve never looked at your business from this view point before, it’s never too late to begin.
In other articles I’ve discussed some of the vehicles that can be easily implemented to deliver the communication. In this article I’m going to discuss the underlying strategy and philosophy.
Successful consistent communication incorporates a number of elements.
- a consistent corporate positioning message. In other words, the look, feel and style that defines the business and makes it instantly recognizable to the prospect. This includes the unique strategic positioning message, whether it’s for the corporate entity or for a particular market segment offering. It also includes the design and structure of the message ‘vehicle’ e.g. ad, newsletter, letter etc.
- it also includes a prospect specific message that’s designed to capture a defined market’s attention and stimulate specified action e.g. call, email, visit.
- consistent communication not only has to look and feel consistent, but, most importantly, it needs to be delivered consistently. In other words, it’s necessary to have these communications delivered according to a pre-set schedule. Even if you have a consistent look, feel and articulation, but only deliver the communication sporadically, it will not have much impact in terms of quantifiable sales. Remember the snowball? If you begin rolling a snowball and then stop before it’s fully formed, leaving it on the ground in the sun, it will eventually disintegrate without achieving anything. To have a snowball fight, you need to fully form snowballs and lob them at your opponent regularly within a defined time period for your opponent to respond.
Creating a consistent communication schedule is easy. All you need to do is to list your communication vehicles, then plot out on a calendar a reasonable delivery schedule that creates ‘layers’ of communication. I’ve spoken at length about ths process in the article to do with establishing customer loyalty.
The benefit of consistent communication is that it appears to have a cumulative effect. The more you communicate over a long period of time, the better your response to each subsequent communication delivered.
For instance, I’ve noticed with many of my clients that when we initially set up a communication schedule, the first 3 months may produce lack lustre results. However by the 6th month, the results are considerably better and by the end of a 12 month period of regular communication, the results are great, continually increasing and to a large extent, predictable.
This has a dramatic effect on morale as you begin seeing your actions having a direct, measurable and predictable positive impact on your bottom line.
If you have not yet implemented a consistent communication strategy in your business, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. If you’d like help with this, please don’t hesitate to contact me.