I am not going to go all religious on you, but have you ever considered the fact that there is one God and many religions (atheists and agnostics bear with me…there is a point)? If you follow the Bible, the Tora or the Quran, you (mostly) believe in a higher power, and you might even agree that it's the same deity? We each just have a different take on history, laws and traditions. Then, even within those divisions there are subcultures. Each subculture has its own take on beliefs, standards, laws and definitions of who HE or SHE is and what the intentions and the end game are! We are all born and eventually die, but what happens in between and after we die is about perceptions, choices and decisions. Right or wrong, we can agree to disagree, but what matters most is that after weighing all of the options out there, we get to choose what to follow and believe in.
I am not trying to convince you that business is a religion (to some of you it may be), but it does have subcultures. There are some newbies, some with experience, some one timers and some repeat customers. Each have different experiences and different needs. The most important thing is that each customer has unique needs and wants. Can you ever really create something that is a one size fits all? Usually NOT!
Whether we know it or not, we all have multiple audiences (clients or customers)…future prospects, prospects, almost new clients, new clients, current clients, recent clients and past clients. Yet, we often try to communicate as if our messages are universal. Is it that we don't have time to address each audience individually? Or, do we not understand that each of them has different needs? Do we just think that if they want what we have to offer, they will just throw their money at us?
Give Them What They Want
All too often, it seems easier to send out one email to all of your contacts. You have to realize that you have various people in different locations in the sales funnel. Each has varying needs for information and require different messages to serve their purposes. If you use generic messages, you run the risk of numbing or even losing members of your lists and circles. To make the most of your relationships, you have to view different audiences as people who require different messages…then serve them up with different content!
- Future Prospects – They don't “know, like and trust” you yet. Give them a reason to get to know you a little better. Your content here has to be educational and instructional. Help these future prospects better understand who you are, what your business does and why they may want to know you better in the future.
- Prospects – These people are defined as those who could use and benefit from the products or services that you offer. This is the perfect place to continue to educate them with a hint of testimonials. Don't oversell, just gently nudge.
- Almost New Clients – These people are on the fence. Chances are they are exploring options that include you. Again, being too aggressive can be a deal killer. Share some case studies, or even give them contact information for your happy and willing customers (with their permission of course).
- New Clients – Now is when you want to provide some new and helpful information about how to make the most of your products or services. You have an opportunity to provide above and beyond customer service, so make the most of it by keeping the lines of communication open.
- Current Clients – This is where things like weekly calls or personal webinars can be helpful. If it makes sense, you may want to create a closed Facebook or LinkedIn group to allow clients to discuss your products and/or services.
- Recent Clients – This group is often neglected. Again, I would consider a closed Facebook or LinkedIn group to continue the conversations. Provide them with new information that could help them better utilize their new shiny product or service.
- Past Clients – These people may or not be in the market or the mood to hear from you. Do your best to keep the conversations flowing through emails or social media. Staying top of mind for if and when they may need you again is key. These past clients can also be an excellent source of referrals!
It's beyond the scope of this post to tell you how and with which media to communicate with your different audiences. However, hopefully you see the benefit of creating multiple streams of communication for these 7 groups. If you have an email program that allows you to create multiple lists (Aweber, MailChimp, iContact, and so on), you can create a separate list for each group. Then, you can plan out how and what to communicate with each.
What are your thoughts, comments and feedback? Share away!