It is March 7, Alexander Graham Bell Day. Pick up that telephone and call someone.
It is that simple and yet it is still hard.
Three ideas to get you going and lower your energy barriers:
Check in on how the last order, service call, or project was received by their customer. I had a consultant in a previous life who was really good at this. About every six months, if I had not called her, she would call me and ask “how is it going?” Not only did she get feedback, I usually had another project to give her and get off of my desk.
Miller’s Law, 7 ± 2, derives from the data presented in a 1953 psychology paper that our short-term working memory is limited. People forget to reach out, even when they need to. Save them the time, energy, and embarrassment. Call them first!
The “Did you know we also do?” call. Just this weekend I was speaking with a general practitioner friend, and he was telling me a story about a patient who needed a doctor to see her kids. She had never thought her GP could be their GP until it was mentioned during a routine visit. He had never asked her if she was happy with her kids’ doctor. We often forget that the people with whom we do business add services, do more than one thing, or already have the solution to a problem we have.
Miller’s Law, 7 ± 2, re-iterates that when you do not need the information, you let it go out of your easily accessed memory. This is especially true for customers who associate you and your company with a particular solution or product. If they had no need of other products or services when you mentioned it, they immediately lost the ability to recall that.
“Did you know” will place a new memory in their brains — especially if they need it now!
Calls trump email. Follow up with a quote, a trade show call, or a inquiry. You never know if the email got lost in the ether or they forgot it was in their inbox.
In the rule of remembering, 7 ± 2, your customer has probably already forgotten your email. That email got forgotten about the time she suddenly remembered to pick up milk on the way home the other day.
“It’s been xxx days/weeks since we last spoke and I was wondering if this project was still under way.” Who knows what you will learn.
It’s called “dialing for dollars” and it works. What are you waiting for? You can always start with “Happy Alexander Graham Bell Day”!