Did your latest marketing campaign speak to your intended customers? Did it give them a chance to stop and think or to look deeper into your company or product? Your marketing should be doing this. It should engage customers and start conversations. Don’t be afraid to entertain your customers’ thoughts and ideas. Not sure how to take your marketing from automated to engaging?

Here are five tips on better engaging your customers through marketing:

  1. Ask questions through social networking sites. Share thought provoking articles. Try to include hot topics and debates. Remember that there are two sides to every argument so try to avoid being bias. Post links to these articles on your Facebook or Twitter pages with a question for your readers to answer. Entice them to read and respond. Share a brief overview of your opinion, or better yet, blog about it and link to your blog post. Remember to keep the conversation going by replying to your customers’ comments. Do not argue with your customers, have friendly debates. By doing all of this also ensures that Facebook’s filtering program, Edgerank, is putting you in front of more customers. This helps fully maximize your marketing efforts.
  • Keep marketing convenient for customers. Avoid the “cold marketing” tactics of phone calls during dinner or busy times during the day. Do not badger your customers with sales tactics. Instead, if they show disinterest, thank them for their time and move on. Continuing the call once the customer has shut off their mind to it won’t get you anywhere. It will frustrate the potential customer possibly causing a negative result rather than a sale and it wastes your time when you could easily have moved on to another attempt. Expect at least 9 of every 10 calls to say, “No,” but remember it only takes that one to get the momentum rolling.
  • Don’t be a robot. It is easy to save time by photo copying the same flyer and mailing it blindly to a list of prospects but instead, try adding a few personalized touches. Try using a service or program to input the customer’s name on the greeting, make sure there is a signature in the salutations as well. Don’t let time get in the way of using real life stories in your blog posts. And while it seems practical, programs that automate social media takes away from you as the business owner seeming human. Customers notice the personalized marketing touch and are more likely to find a take-away from your marketing.
  • Only make relevant sales. Consultative sales isn’t enough anymore. Go beyond. Work with the customers instead of preparing all your sales pitches ahead of time. Take the customers’ preferences, experience and ideas into consideration.
  • Use a lot of variety. There’s no such thing as a favorite conversation starter or deal winner. Each conversation should differ by person. Respond to what the customer needs. Have several options of ways to begin a sales conversation. Remember, if a customer returns and you try to use the same sale tactic on him, he’s going to notice.

Larger companies typically have plenty of employees to work on a more engaging level of sales. For small businesses though, it’s hard for one or two people to reach out to potential hundreds. Corners are cut and time is attempted to be saved. Just remember that this time saved doesn’t guarantee sales. Customers will respond better to human, personalized conversations over a generic letter addressed to “sir or madam.” Marketing is several steps and gaining sales isn’t meant to be easy. Knowing these tricks will simplify your campaign and make your work more worth it though.

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