“An artist carries on throughout his life a mysterious, uninterrupted conversation with his public.” – Maurice Chevalier, Born Sep. 12, 1888.
A business has a conversation with the market, and with its prospects, and with its customers. That's what marketing and advertising and selling IS: a conversation.
Social media and Internet-based marketing in general has only just now made it fast enough for regular people to realize it for what it always was.
An ad floats an idea. Customers and prospects respond. The conversation continues.
They buy, the product arrives, they use it. The conversation continues.
They like the product and come back to buy more, responding to subsequent advertising. The conversation continues.
The moment you think of customers only as numbers, stats, dollars – anything but people – you're dropping the ball.
They are people. With needs and wants and dreams and feelings. With families and jobs and mortgages and bills.
And every little interaction with them is a continuous, uninterrupted conversation. About their problems, and your solutions, and whether or not you care and are capable of delivering what you promise as part of that conversation.
Lose the thread, and especially now with how the web works, and the conversation can get away from you. It can be taken by disgruntled clients and customers and used against you, even while shutting you out from participating any longer.
So keep this always in mind. Everything you post or publish or send or produce – it's a message that invites a response. It's part of the conversation. Sometimes what you DON'T communicate can even be part of the conversation.
Be aware of it, and you're most of the way to being in control of it. And control of the conversation is how we make money.
Here are FIVE ways you can make sure you’re properly creating and controlling the CONVERSATION with your prospects and buyers…
1. Place all your content in places that allow the readers to comment, and interact with them when they do. What’s the point of using a communication engine like the web if you force it to be one-way?
2. Always make sure your audience can contact you, and RESPOND when they use those mechanisms. If you have social accounts, respond with them. If you have contact forms, reply when they are used. This sounds obvious, but I assure you it’s not well done by most.
3. Surprise people with a personal response when they are expecting a bot or a script or an automated, canned response. If people bother to reach out, try to make them feel good about that contact, no matter what their issue was for reaching.
4. Reach out unexpectedly. Contact a good customer and ask if they need anything. Contact a prospect and ask if they had questions. Reconnect with a past client and ask how it’s going.
5. Whenever haters or complainers pop up, invite them publicly to contact you directly for help. Even if they don’t, it evaporates their attempt to hurt you.
Bonus. Let these interactions become stories that you turn around and share with the wider audience. Let it inspire content, new products and services, innovate broken processes. This isn’t a “cost” of doing business. It’s an idea generator, R&D, and customer response and retention all in one.