10-Minute Branding Refresher: How do you build your brand 10 minutes at a time? You start small, and you simply begin. An excellent way to convince yourself to get going is to plan your ending. You can even set a timer. Then, be sure to bask in the success of your huge accomplishment of actually beginning and also appreciate the amount of work that got done. Then, repeat the process tomorrow. And the next day. And so on. You will be amazed at your branding progress . . . 10 minutes at a time.
This newest 10-minute brand building tip makes the assumption that you have already followed our advice to start to create a 10-minute contact database (see Build a Contact Prospect List) or alternatively have a list acquired separately from a third party that you’re now ready to start approaching.
While contact and production sales campaigns are most often created via a major coordinated effort aimed at reaching dozens of prospects simultaneously, your initiative need not be such an all-consuming, resource-draining exercise to produce meaningful results that enhance both your brand building activities and sales.
Instead, we suggest developing an ongoing sales initiative that will approach the task three prospects at a time. Since your contact list was developed from your personal knowledge and efforts, we believe this data will be more qualified than lists acquired from a third party and will very often allow you to know the best media or strategy for making your approach.
Nevertheless, success will still be measured in very small percentages. However, each success will represent the opportunity to create a loyal customer that delivers repeat business over time, and you also benefit in another less obvious way. Since your direct marketing materials will be incorporating the key elements of your brand in your chosen way, this exercise also reinforces your brand with an important potential audience.
Direct Mail Letter – E-mail – Text Message – Phone Call
As a separate exercise apart from this 10-minute tip, we suggest you build reusable templates for generating a letter and/or e-mail to individual prospects. Then, you simply have to plug in the necessary name and contact information, generate the document, and send your solicitation to the targeted recipient.
Generally speaking, you should be able to complete three prospects at a time and still have a chance (and the energy!) to properly update the activity in a contact and production control log (that is either part of your original database or a separate spreadsheet). While methods can vary, you need to maintain a record of every date and method of contact as well as any responses received. In general, we suggest using a multimedia approach, so we recommend scheduling your first follow-up contact about a week after your letter or e-mail was sent. Since you are building your contact list three items at a time and executing your sales and follow-up activites at a similar pace across as many days or weeks as needed, this process will essentially become an ongoing effort spread throughout the year that hopefully also produces some ongoing results!
If you initially felt a call was the best method to use, your follow-up will depend upon the response you receive.
- If you actually spoke with a person, a letter or e-mail can be sent to thank the person for his or her time and consideration . . . with a promise to contact them again in the future.
- If your initial call did not get through, a second call is probably in order – separated by about a week.
- If one of these contacts connects and you are ready to move on to the next stage of the sales cycle, plan to schedule a follow-up session (very often a personal or virtual visit/meeting) to try to convert the sales lead into a customer.
When your initial contact and follow-up activities fail to produce results, plan to repeat the same activities with the same contacts at a future date – recognizing that repeated efforts might be required to get your message in front of the person at the right time – buying time (that moment when a potential need becomes an actual one).
Note: Although this article deals exclusively with implementing the mechanics and timing of running of a 3-a-day sales campaign, you can find more information about creating the necessary templates in other articles at www.brandbuildingforsmallbusiness.com. Specifically, you might want to check out: Role of Branding in Direct Mail/E-mail and Creating a Mail Merge Document for Direct Response Mailing.
BTW – Using direct contact opportunities to wish your customer a safe and happy holiday for occasions such as Thanksgiving makes a positive statement about your brand!!
Measuring the Success of This 10-Minute Branding Task
While accomplishing three contacts in a day might seem like too little to make a meaningful difference when the percent returns are so small on direct marketing and telemarketing activities, these numbers DO multiply with consistent, sustained effort. Furthermore, conversion of a single lead to a customer who becomes a loyal repeat client year after year represents a significant victory – the kind upon which successful businesses are built.