Open for business early

Darlington

I walk through Darlington town centre most Wednesday mornings at 8.30 and notice some, not many, businesses are open for business.  Observing these businesses later in the day I noticed that they are the busiest.

Traditional trading times the UK is 9-5 but this is not a rule or a law.  You should be open and be ready for customers before 9 am or earlier.  The windows should be clean, stock refreshed, lights on and the shop clean and tidy, staff ready to serve.

In a past chapter in my life, I ran a retail outlet and later a restaurant.  The retail outlet was open early, if it was warm the doors would be open, a couple of potted plants outside and my signature – the pavement brushed and swilled with water.  This activity actually attracts attention and gives a good impression of an ‘on the ball’ business, its actually free advertising and great for staff positive mentality.  Activity attracts activity.

In an office environment, the same applies, get the staff in early, let them go early or give extra time off in lieu or build it into the employment contract.  They should be ready to take calls and conduct meetings at 9 am (or before) rather than just get going after a coffee at 9.45 ish.

Back to my observed stars in Darlington, the businesses I noticed were Savers, Relish, Alfornos and Taylors.  All successful expanding businesses.

If you are stumbling through the door at 9 am, hanging around outside, the keyholder is not there and the entrance is messy it won’t take much to instigate the above and the results will be great – all for free, just a little time and effort. The early bird gets the worm.

 

How to Communicate More Effectively with Clients

Four tips when contacting bulk lists of clients and how to explore the best coverage. ‘How to Communicate More Effectively with Clients’ when handling bulk contact lists including email and phone contacts of clients you will use an email template.

TIP-1. Evolve the Email Template: All email templates will evolve based on the feedback you receive as you progress communicating with your clients, this is good, times change. Advice: Keep all versions of the templates. You can revert if the new one fails.

TIP-2. Play with the Send Order: Think about the process order. Send email first then call? Or the other way round which is best?
Example: I am working on a client contact campaign now. The objective is to contact all the clients within 30 days of sign up. Let them know we are here to help and support, provide contacts for the client use should they require. The contacts must be documented and evidence provided to demonstrate all clients have been contacted as best as is possible.
Initially we failed, we did this:
-Called and spoke with the client and then sent an email.

PROBLEM – over 80% of calls were not answered.
BAD RESULT – only 20% contact.

FIX – So we flipped it over! We changed the order.
We emailed the template FIRST, included a paragraph that explained we will call them, told them when and provided the number we will be calling from. We called after the email and the answers escalated to 60%.

PROBLEM REDUCED – just 40% of calls were not answered.
GOOD RESULT – 60% contact. No extra effort, no extra cost – just changed the contact order.

TIP – 3. Ask and you will get. Ask during your call or email for your contact to do something; visit a link, reply with an up-date etc. And they will do it. Don’t ask – they won’t! It costs you nothing to ask. We asked in this campaign for clients to reply with an update – we said ‘An update will be great!’. The result is occasionally we do indeed get an update from the clients – which is great.

TIP – 4 . Say ‘Thank You!’ <<< Like that. It’s a positive high-five – Thank You! And we find clients interpret it as a genuine, punchy, up-beat – Thank You!

Do you have any questions about communicating with clients more effectively?

About the Author: Managing Director, Paul Harper, provides sales and marketing services, Internet marketing with a focus on SME business. Business support and development with on-going mentor support. Meet Paul and talk about your business and you will see his passion and deep thought as he works with you and mentors you to achieve your business goals. Please visit my LinkedIn Profile to connect or email me on here.