Consistent sales success is a must for any business. Making the statement is easy – putting that plan into action is the hard part. That’s where TRACKFARE comes into play. Over the coming weeks we’ll discuss how optimising and improving your business with our fine-tuned method gives you the foundations you need to give you profit, productive sales techniques and above all, prospects.
TRACKFARE cuts through all the waffle-y words and marketing fluff, and gets straight the point of what your business needs. An easy to implement, clear method to build up your business to be a long-term success. The first step in a three-part model system designed to enhance your business practices, TRACKFARE explores 9 core foundations that you need to utilise to improve your business; bringing in more prospects, converting them to fantastic leads and ultimately increasing existing customer satisfaction.
Last week we took a look at the second letter in the TRACKFARE methodology – Reliability. If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at last week’s entry, you can hop over there now before we continue with this link. Today we’ll be examining letter number three in closer detail – A for Approachable. We’ve had a look at how the reliability and trustworthiness of your business can have a big influence on how your prospects perceive you; let’s back that information up with the ways in which being approachable to your potential prospects and existing customers can help increase your profits and keep everyone smiling!
As an abstract concept, approachability can be quite hard to define. One way to get yourself in the right mind set is looking at approachability from a personal perspective, and then widening this out to encompass your business practices. So, what makes a person approachable? It’s a combination of a variety of actions, behaviours and perceptions.
Say you’re contemplating buying a bunch of flowers from a market florist. There are two stands beside each other, both selling the exact same bunch of roses you’d like to purchase. On one of the stalls, the owner makes eye contact, smiles at you and beckons you over. On the other stall, the owner has a frown on their face and is playing a game on their phone. Which stand are you most likely to go for?
If you said the stall with the smiling owner, you’ll find you’re like to majority of prospects out there. In fact, the first impression you make to a person – whether it’s a prospect looking to buy a bunch of flowers or one looking to invest in high-value services – is of utmost importance. Take for example a study conducted by Richard Wiseman; he found that if waiters said good morning to guests staying at their hotel when they delivered room service, their tip was increased by up to 27%. Over a quarter of their original tip – and all from one positive comment.
This is the perception part of approachability, and your presentation can have a positive or negative effect on the way your prospects see you. As a business looking to make a profit, you want to take advantage of every possible tool you have at your disposal to generate leads and bring in prospects. Approachability is a very powerful tool in this respect.
We’ve taken a quick look at how approachability works on the small scale, so now let’s look at applying that principle to a business. It’s easier than you think; many of the rules and concepts are exactly the same, but just need that little bit more planning to put in place. With a little training and some shuffling of priorities, you can be raking in the prospects in no time.
There are two main factors to making a business approachable. The first (and most obvious) factor is that your prospects should be able to approach you easily. Jumping through hoops isn’t an ideal scenario for anyone, and you’re definitely going to lose some prospective leads on the way. Secondly, prospects should be able to access you easily; whether that’s being able to get through to the right department when they call or are just able to find the correct information via your website.
Make your prospect’s customer journey easy and they’ll soon recognise you as a great company to deal with – which is exactly where you want to be. Utilising tools like personalised communications for your marketing, which according to Marketing Land, “makes customers feel valued and respected and makes your business seem more approachable”.
Keep in Contact
Now we’ve had an overview of what approachability is, let’s get down to the groundwork. In today’s connected world, it’s imperative that you develop an online presence, unless you want to miss out on innumerable prospects. Whether that’s a Website, Social Media channels or even just listings on your favourite search engine, your prospects should be able to reach out to you with ease. Each new way to contact you is a new touchpoint, a new possible customer, and a new potential profit.
When a prospect visits your website, it should only take a few clicks for them to be able to find out more about your products and services, learn more about the business itself and of course get in contact with you by phone, email or web form. Behind the scenes, you should have an efficient process prepared to manage incoming queries and leads from your prospects, in order to get back to them in a timely manner. A well-organised CRM system puts you in good stead for increasing your lead generation.
Social Media is a key communication tool for any business. 54% of B2B businesses generate leads through social media; if you’re not utilising your social platforms to their full potential, you’re missing out! Platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer your prospects the ultimate in accessibility – the ability to contact you anywhere, anytime. Being visible is an important part. The downside to marketing and connecting to your prospects with social media is the amount of time and resource it takes; but it’s well worth outsourcing if you don’t have the capacity.
Take the Bad with the Good
Being approachable means you don’t just take the positive feedback. Should your existing customers or prospects have complaints or confusion over what you’re offering them, showing you’re able to take their less positive feedback with grace sets the right tone. It might be difficult to hear that someone isn’t happy with your service but constructive criticism can improve your business in ways you may not even have considered.
According to QuickTapSurvey, 33% of business don’t even bother looking at their online feedback – which is a big mistake! If your prospects don’t see you paying attention to their requirements and suggestions, they’re not likely to find you an approachable company. It also suggests you’re not present on available online, another no-no in today’s business environment.
Any negative feedback, if in any way constructive, should not only be considered but also replied to, thanking them for the suggestion. If the feedback is in regards to an issue, show how approachable you are by contacting the prospect or customer, to help them resolve the problem.
Bring your Staff On-Board
There’s not much point spending valuable time working to make your brand approachable if the rest of your business aren’t signed up to the theory. Ensure your staff are involved in your branding, understand the principles and epitomise your messaging; it will pay off in the long term.
Developing materials to enable a consistent and appropriate response to prospects will also help your business to impress your prospects with an open, approachable service. Turn your staff into Brand Ambassadors, and you’ll soon find your lead generation going up and up. According to a global survey by Edelman, “Employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO, or Founder.” In fact, 41% of those surveyed believed that employees were the most credible brand source – making them vitally important for an approachable brand image.
Digital and Analogue
As well as the more time-consuming methods, there are numerous ways you can make your business more approachable in passive ways. All it takes is a little change in your way of thinking, which over time and with practice will come naturally to you and your team.
If you often attend events or trade shows, it’s not only important to show off your best gear, services and have an attractive stand. If your staff is unapproachable, or appears disinterested, you’ll lose out on prospects – and that’s a fact. Take the time to encourage passers-by and visitors to chat to you, and it doesn’t all have to be a sales pitch.
Equally, when it comes to your digital presence it’s easy to come across as a faceless business with no ‘soul’. By taking the time to adapt your web presence to be more personable, you present an approachable front. Adding a page featuring your team, your company goals and even an insight into your day-to-day activities can add some humanisation to your brand.
A survey by McCarthy found that 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising, deeming it manipulative and difficult to trust. Humanising your business helps combat that effect, enabling your prospects to have a more personal relationship with you.
Want to find out more?
Feeling more approachable? We hope this blog has given you more of an insight into how being an easy to approach business can be of massive advantage to your business. It may be time consuming but it’s well worth the extra time you put into making yourself available to your prospects.
There’s six more letters to go, and we’re steaming ahead! Next week we’ll be finding out more about why being Confident is an important aspect of the TRACKFARE method. As per usual, we’ll have interesting factoids, practical pointers and lots of relevant information to keep your prospects happy and your business profiting.
Can’t wait a whole week for more? If you want to give TRACKFARE a go, we’ve launched a video series covering all eight steps of the model; including invaluable strategies and innovative methods to further develop your prospects and bring you even more profit. There are over 3 hours of content included, stuffed full of tips and tricks to get your business on ‘TRACK’ (get it?). As we always like to remind you, TRACKFARE is what you need to increase your prospects – we’ll help you make sure you’re giving the right message, give you the correct mind set and give your profits a boost in the long term.