Written By: Scott Koepf MCC, CTC V.P. of Strategic Development – Cruise Planners
My wife and I have three daughters who are now adults with kids of their own. Throughout their childhood I would invite each of our girls to join me on business trips that would allow for this. These Daddy-Daughter Trips created wonderful opportunities for me to spend one-on-one time with each of my girls. They have also provided very special memories for us – and the occasional story to help illustrate the principles of sales!
One time when the ‘middlest’ of my daughters was about six years old she joined me on her first Daddy-Daughter Trip. We boarded the flight and survived that first leg of the journey with no problems. However, after we got off the plane, I discovered that I needed to make a stop at the men’s restroom. This posed a problem. My daughter was too old to take inside with me but too young to leave unattended. As the urgency of my situation provided me with no choice, I hurried inside the men’s restroom after planting my daughter right outside the door with strict instructions to sing to me. No matter what, she was told to just keep singing.
She obediently began to serenade me sweetly – and loudly – loud enough for me, and all others in the vicinity, to hear her sing. At first her songs were precious and cute but a bit of embarrassment was created when she began to compose lyrics expressing her frustration about how long her daddy was taking in the bathroom. When I finally did emerge, she had attracted quite a crowd and while I received a hug, she received an enthusiastic round of applause!
You may be asking what this story has to do with sales. It has everything to do with sales. You need to constantly sing to your clients. Sing loudly and passionately. And be sure that they hear you. Let them know that you care about them consistently.
Adding customers to your regular e-newsletter or sending them generic direct mail pieces is not enough. Develop your plan for how you will sing (communicate) with each of your customers. As I have said before, you should have at least three different plans for how often and what you communicate. One plan is for folks on your database who have never booked with you. A second plan is for those who have booked with you and the third plan for your top lifetime customers. Each of those plans should have a different quantity of touches throughout a year. However, the second and even more so, the third, should have more and more personalization. Also, the media used should become more personal as you design the third plan with at least quarterly phone calls and if possible, invitations to special events.
Even if sometimes your efforts to communicate appear to be off key, try a new song (meaning different media with different messages). The most important thing is to keep singing and you will also receive a round of applause for a job well done!