Articles by Tony Rubleski

The Power of Follow Up in Action

Friday, April 17th, 2015

I received a referral from a fan of my work in early January regarding the possibility of me speaking at her association’s annual meeting this December in New Orleans. This happens each week and I never take an introduction for granted and always do my best to follow up.

There’s a picture I show in many of my keynotes that demonstrates why follow up is of huge importance in the sales process. I can easily say that my own experience and with many clients that a lot of sales occur after the third or fourth contact with a prospect. What I’m about to share with you, helps prove this out.

Here’s a list below showing my follow up over the last two and half months with the association President whom I was referred to regarding speaking at their annual event in New Orleans and the end result:

1. Mid-January I sent the association president a follow up email
2. A week later I left a voicemail
3. A few weeks go by and I check back in with the person that sent me the referral
4. She sends a second email to the association President
5. I leave a voicemail a week later as he’s traveling
6. Speak with key contact when I call main number who handles the event, who next asks me to email her information after I explain the context of the referral
7. I email her details and am told to check back in within a couple of weeks as the President is traveling
8. I call as instructed and she mentions that she showed him my information that day
9. A few more days go by and I get an email from the association President to set up an exploratory phone call
10. We get on the phone a few days later
11. He asks for more details and a week to show his Board so they can make a decision
12. I email him the requested items after our phone call
13. Last week he emails me and says we are a go to speak this December in New Orleans!

I share this recent story for one central reason: people are busy and effective follow up does pay off. While I wish it was easier and people would get right back to me, this is often not the case. They move at their pace and in their time frame, not ours.

So, your homework: go back through your files and notes to see who you need to follow up with and pick up the phone or send off a quick email today.

Tony Rubleski
Mind Capture
616-638-3912
www.mindcapturegroup.com

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Five Effective Ways to Appreciate Your Best Customers

Monday, December 29th, 2014

#1: Hold thank-you events. When you show appreciation and sponsor or host an event, it’s a great way to not only meet with your best customers, but also catch up on how they’re doing. I’ve always been amazed that more people don’t employ this strategy. The amount of goodwill, fun, and positive word-of-mouth far outweigh the costs to host the event.

#2: Send birthday cards. This is old school marketing 101 that so few businesses employ. When someone gets an unexpected card in the mail it leaves a huge impression. In the age of email, texts and Facebook, the temptation is to choose the easiest path. Good old-fashioned birthday cards still go a long way to building goodwill.

#3: Thank customers for their referrals. Referrals are powerful. I’m an advocate that you should not only track where referrals come from, but more importantly thank the person who sent them to you. I love hand-written thank you notes along with a small gift such as a box of cookies, a book, or gift certificate. In addition, a phone call is always a smart idea.

#4: Send them business. Besides doing business if possible with your best customers, you should always be seeking ways to help them grow. By getting to know who they work with, you can often think of and refer people in your circle of influence to them. I do this a lot. It not only show that I appreciate them, but that I believe and trust them enough to send people I know their direction.

#5: Offer them new products and promotions first. People love the feeling of being exclusive and special. Anytime I roll out a new service, talk, event, or book I bring it to my best clients first. In addition, as a thank you I include special promotions just for them as a thanks for their ongoing patronage and referrals. It’s amazing to me how many businesses create special promotions for new customers only and then completely skip over their current ones. This to me short-sided thinking and foolish.

I hope this short, yet effective list, has inspired you to make appreciating your customers a priority now and in the future!

Tony Rubleski
Mind Capture
616-638-3912
www.mindcapturegroup.com

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101 Ways to Stay Visible and Win More Business – Part 1

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

I’m often asked by audiences, clients, and in media interviews, “So Tony, what’s the best way to pick up more business?” This isn’t an easy question or a simple answer as I’m a BIG believer that the better question to ask is, “What are several great ways to win more business?”

With these questions in mind, I’ll reveal, over this and the next issue, a helpful and handy checklist of 101 ways to capture more minds, hearts and bottom line: more business. You may consider printing off this list and highlighting which one’s you’re currently using, while at the same time, picking two or three which you plan to get moving on for use within your own company.

There’s no shortage of ways to attract and win business. Let this list serve as an idea generator and guide to spark your mind, imagination, and help to motivate you towards taking action on finding more ways to spread your message and serve more people.

#1. Make an offer
#2. Bundle different products and services
#3. Have a special event or sale
#4. Have FUN with your marketing
#5. Do an annual client appreciation event
#6. Send thank you notes
#7. Make thank you calls
#8. Mail articles of interest to your best customers
#9. Send postcards with special offers/updates
#10. Create and use an eletter to stay in touch
#11. Ask for referrals
#12. Give referrals
#13. Attend leads groups
#14. Get active in your chamber of commerce
#15. Offer free samples of your product/service
#16. Give an informative talk on your business
#17. Partner with a local cause or charity
#18. Partner with some of your key vendors to cross promote
#19. Partner with a well-known person or local celeb in your marketing
#20. Submit media releases to your trade groups and local newspapers
#21. Write a letter to the editor or op-ed piece
#22. Host or be a guest on local radio, TV or web based show
#23. Teach a class or lead a webinar
#24. Encourage employees to recommend you to others and within their social media channels
#25. Barter/trade with the local media
#26. Offer referral fees or discounts for those who send people to you
#27. Blog on topics related to your industry
#28. Engage people on FB, and online with special updates and offers
#29. Create a YouTube channel with approved client testimonials
#30. Stay visible within the community and donate products or services for fundraisers
#31. Ask those you currently do business with to consider working with you
#32. Hire friendly people that engage people and aren’t rude
#33. Have a pro answer your phones
#34. Get back to people quickly
#35. Make sure your website is easy to navigate
#36. Create a client-of-the-month recognition program
#37. Offer special bonuses/pricing for your VIP customers
#38. Provide free shipping or delivery to save time
#39. Take a key customer or referral partner out for coffee or a meal
#40. Survey your customers to find new ideas
#41. Make it right when you screw up as negative word-of-mouth can cause huge damage
#42. Always be listening for new ideas and tips from peers to keep improving
#43. Roll out something “New” at least once a quarter to keep things fresh in your business
#44. Always seek out logical joint ventures and new distribution partners
#45. Be friendly and look sharp – duh!
#46. Create a special report, guide or white paper to educate and differentiate yourself
#47. Share links or websites of interest with your top customers, prospects, and referral partners
#48. Say ‘Thank You’ and look people in the eye when they do business with you
#49. Feature your best customers in your newsletters, eletters and other marketing pieces
#50. Get rid of customers that are too difficult to please and focus more time and energy on those who value what you offer/provide

“Pick your favorite 3 ideas to build your business and start implementing them today!”

Tony Rubleski
Mind Capture
616-638-3912
www.mindcapturegroup.com

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The Power of Grabbers

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

One of my favorite ways to get Mind Capture is via the use of grabbers in the communication process. A grabber is simply the use of a mailing that employs a unique attention getting envelope or enclosure with the goal to get immediately noticed by the recipient.

When I show clients and audiences how to use them and why they work so well, I can often see their eyes light up with not only curiosity, but excitement and here’s why: they work!

In a world of marketing noise and thousands of messages thrown at each of us on a daily basis, the use of good-old fashioned direct mail via grabbers is still my favorite way to get a person’s attention.

Here are three reasons to use grabbers in your marketing efforts:

1.To stand out and gain attention from all the other mail, social media, voicemails, emails and other communications that cross your prospect’s desk.
2.To help differentiate you from the competition. They help tie into the opening of your letter or information packet as to what products or services you provide.
3.People remember them. As time starved as people are today you must be thinking “outside-the-box” to get your information looked at or even noticed.

For example, one of my favorite ways to get a busy prospects attention is to mail them specific information and testimonial letters in a blue bank bag. Not only does this stand out in the mailbox, but people remember it. This is one of the #1 challenge ALL of us face in marketing, especially in the age of instant communication and distraction.

In addition, when I do a follow up call a few days after mailing the bank bag, many times the recipient remembers the mailing and will often give me a few minutes on the phone or email me after I leave a voicemail to see what and why I used the bank bag to get their attention. This is huge for many reasons including not only saving time, but getting to the top of the attention pile so you have a shot at reaching the person you seek to influence and engage.

Tony Rubleski
Mind Capture
616-638-3912
www.mindcapturegroup.com

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