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f you ran a retail business in abrick-and-mortar store, chances are you’demploy people who would interact wellwith your customers, providing superiorservice and attention that would set youapart from your competition.But in the world of Internettransactions, there’s no flesh-and-bloodperson waiting in the wings to answerquestions, convince a prospect to buy, orrespond whenever the company is metwith a complaint.You have to know how to set upsystems on the ‘net that automaticallycater to your customers needs in a waythat – surprisingly – makes them feel as if they’ve gotten personal treatment.
The Good, Bad, and Ugly Side of Marketing on the ‘Net
You wouldn’t have launched anonline business if you didn’t see thepositive side to Internet marketing.There’s the unlimited amount of profits,the ability to become self-employed andwork less while earning more, but thereare also some drawbacks that hinder yourgoal of achieving brand recognition andcustomer devotion.With a decent computer and anInternet connection, you have the abilityto create a space where your customerscan congregate. That may mean a staticwebsite where you convert a sale or aforum where members can interact withothers and yourself.You can contact them, providedyou adhere to permission-based contactand don’t violate their trust by floodingtheir inbox with irrelevant offers just toseize the opportunity to beef up yourbank account – which almost alwaysbackfires and results in complete loss of credibility and a depleted mailing list.But you can’t smile and look them in the eye and shake their hands tomake them realize you’re a trustworthyperson. You can’t speak to them andinstantly get their feedback and respondto their objections, questions, orcomplaints. What’s the solution?
Reaching Out to Deliver aPersonalized Experience
What are the primary ways youwant to build a connection to yourcustomer? You know you want to build abrand and image. That’s the first courseof business. Once you have recognition,it means you’ve positioned yourself as aleader among a sea of competitors.You can achieve brandrecognition through smart marketingtactics. Never abuse your customers’email addresses, but do contact themwhenever you feel you have a trulyvaluable product or service to give them.Do your best to research the offering, thereputation and/or experience of theperson behind it, and study the productor service to be sure it’s worthy of yourstamp of approval. Your reputation is atstake – be diligent!Time your communications andlaunches so that they’re not back-to-back where they prevent people from buying,but they’re not spread so far apart thatthe customer forgets who you are inbetween offers. Better yet, interspersethese offers with emails containinghelpful, valuable information pertinent tothe reason they’re on your list to beginwith. Even if you do a brief, monthlyTop Five Tips, your offers will be morereadily received and likely to be takenmore seriously.Remind your customerswhenever you interact why you’recontacting them in the first place. Tellthem what product they purchased in thepast and never assume they’ll recalldoing it. Some of these purchases ormemberships are made in the weemorning hours on the spur of a momentwhen a friend made a quick recommendation.The second thing you want to dois provide quality customer service.Whenever anyone accesses your site,they should be able to access you. Thatdoesn’t mean they can call your cellphone at 2 o’clock in the morning. But if they can email you and get a responsewithin 24 hours, you’re providing adoorway into your world that most onlineconsumers will accept and appreciate.
Building a Connection to Customers
a Hands-On Approach
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