JC Penny filed for bankruptcy among many others. Small business owners do not make headline news when they close, but many will never re-open. As small business owners we must be able to communicate a strong purpose that resonates with our core customers. I believe that focusing on building long-term relationships with your customers, referral partners and friends in your data base is the most important action item you can take.
COVID-19 is changing the way small business must grow their businesses. Many marketing efforts are directed towards getting as many sales as possible, trying to get new customers, whatever the cost. Unfortunately, too often, the cost is the neglect of existing customers. As businesses reopen the competition for new customers is going to increase.
Your ongoing challenge is to start a campaign aimed at your current customer base, your current prospects, referral partners and friends. Customer expectations are going to be higher than ever before, and your job is to create better experiences, provide more value, have better communications, and develop solid long-term relationships.
This does not happen without some serious thought being given to the new relationship-building process. What you did in the past will not be enough. Look at each of your current “touch” programs including newsletters, blogs, e-mails, telephone calls, and personal touches such as birthday cards. To this list add any that I missed as well as any new and unique touches you can create.
Before you make any major changes, you must find out how the COVID-19 has changed your customers pains and gains as well as their expectations.
Your data base must be treated as a your most treasured business possession. It must be nourished with new names and purged when necessary and, most important, it must be used on a regular basis so that it doesn’t dry out and die.
People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.Seith Godin
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