Thursday, June 4th, 2020

3 Ways To Be High-Touch In a High-Tech World

By Karen Dodd on May 09 2011 • Filed under New Clients by Design

Making business contacts in person and online is important.

In the past, you might have been able to get away with the philosophy of 'no news is good news,' either because you wanted to spend your time developing new customers or simply because you didn't want to do the service work with existing ones.

However, as I don't need to remind you, things have changed dramatically! I love what futurist John Naisbitt says, "The most exciting breakthrough of the 21st century will occur not because of technology, but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human."

Indeed, technology has not, and never will, take the place of human interaction. However, witness the growing phenomenon of social-networking tools like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Add to that blogs and ezines and you have perfect examples of how we're using technology to forge bonds of trust and friendship.

Building Your Know, Like and Trust Factor

Thanks to a myriad of reasons, many of us are leaving large corporations to become entrepreneurs and we are giving more and more of our business to people we know and trust. Instead of continuing to be loyal to large 'faceless' companies, we are building relationships and doing business with our peers.

When it comes to relationships and solo-entrepreneurs, there is no such thing as a "business relationship." Every relationship is personal, even at work, and as best-selling author Keith Ferrazzi points out, "relationships are like muscles – the more you work them, the stronger they become."

High-Tech or High-Touch?

So, to the question of should you use high-tech or high-touch in YOUR business: the answer is both.

Here are three ways you can use high-tech along with high-touch to strengthen and grow your business.

1. Find ways to "WOW" your current customers.

Now, more than ever before, your clients are looking for reassurance and support in order for them to  continue spending money with you. Most are also looking for an expert who will give them information that is pertinent to their business, without having to spend more of their precious time and dollars to acquire that information. Consider providing relevant articles or tips via a regular e-newsletter or blog that directs them to your website.

Use your ezine or emails to offer coupons or "members only" discounts, to thank and reward your clients for their loyalty. The key here is to provide your customer-base with support but not to inundate them with so many offers and information, that you overwhelm them!

Focus on what you can do to contribute, by adding value for your customers and it will come back to you in spades!

2. Take an interest in your clients by asking them about themselves and their business.

Not sure what your clients want? Ask them by sending them a brief survey. Be sure to only ask five or six well thought-out questions that takes two minutes or less to complete, or ask what the top three challenges are  in their businesses right now. You'll be amazed at the information you'll get that will help you further strengthen your relationship and provide them with targeted help that few, if any of their other suppliers are giving them.

3. Give referrals before you ask or expect referrals yourself.

By using the first two principles with your clients, you will likely know enough about their business to really be able to refer people to them when you come across those who could use their services. If you're not entirely sure about their business, you could ask, "June, how would I know if someone I'm talking to would be an ideal client for you and your business?"

On the high-tech side, if you are providing them relevant information via an ezine, a blog or timed emails, make it easy for them to forward or share that with their customers.

All entrepreneurs, women in particular, are happy to pass along referrals to their friends and colleagues, but they are much more likely to refer you if you have taken a sincere interest in them first.

Avoid Being a Marketing Ostrich

Finally, if you are in a business that provides a monthly 'continuity' product or service, don't be tempted to not contact your customers (and even your prospective customers) because you're fearful that your contact may cause them to cancel or lose interest in your service.

I have seen this "ostrich in the sand" philosophy all too many times. In fact, I have sometimes felt this way myself, in the past. The truth is that although it is possible that could happen in a very few number of cases, the benefits of building your client relationships by staying in touch far outweigh the remote possibility of actually losing business.

Become an expert on combining "High-Tech" with "High-Touch" and you will distinguish yourself from your competition.

Until next time, remember to market authentically and attract new clients by design!

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