How personal should you be in your initial outreach to consumers?
It is becoming seemingly more difficult to speak with people face to face, and is usually easier to send an email or text message first. So when building a brand, how personal should the person or organization be with the consumer during the initial communicative efforts through text or email?
Hi Antoine ~
I'm not sure if you are referring to customers/clients (i.e., business entities) or individuals who would purchase a product/service. I see you're involved in film, which might be either.
I agree with Daniel that it does depend on the industry. Film would, I imagine, be more informal than, say, manufacturing or IT — though to a great extent the personality of the person you're emailing drives your response. Once you establish a bit of rapport, you can likely slip into more relaxed language. I find this is almost universally true with anonymous/cold calls once you have a name and possibly a face to warm them up :-)
I take my cue from the person's response. If it's formal, I mirror this in my reply. But usually, as Gary says, when you have a phone convo you begin to establish a relationship. I did this recently with a new client; asked for a phone chat to clarify some information. I could have kept emailing, but after it was clear we were going to do the project I wanted to connect voice to voice and get a bunch of questions answered quickly. The phone call took us to a deeper level. If you're good on phones, ask if it's OK to call after you create interest via email.
Re: texting. I've never texted to begin a consumer relationship, though again, if your target audience lives by text messages, it may be your best way to connect and build your brand. Texting by its nature is very informal, so it makes sense that if you're going to reach out via text, your message can be informal (and hence somewhat personal) as well.
Hope this is helpful!
Depends on the industry and to some degree on the receiver. In the games industry I can normally get away with "Hi, I'm" whereas in trade situations I usually start more formal e.g. "Dear..., I am"
Towards the public it depends who your target group is (culture and age usually play a role for example).
Antoine, since you expressed that it is more difficult to speak with people face to face I suspect you value (and perhaps miss) that. I also value face to face contact and in that I include a phone conversation (see Gary Sharpe's response). My suggestion- in order to make the most valuable contact, choose the means that suits YOU best. You will shine at that.
Ask specific questions pertaining to the customer and their need for the product. Give examples of how the product can benefit them with a way to reply for more information. This takes the mistique out of the product and gives them clear information. Don't be cute or humorous and detract from the process.
As a general rule, the closer you can get to a person in communication the better. So a phone call is better than an email, a face to face better than a phone call. These days, working internationally it is often the case that phone calls are the closest you are going to get (There is always' skype with view' you might say which is somewhat closer than a phone call) and the quicker you can get the relationship on a personal footing the better.
I tend to stick with "Hi first name", even on a first contact unless it is say an Dr or Prof. in which case i will use the honorific.
Most people like their name being used and it is the exception rather than the rule that you would be upbraded for not saying Sir or Madam or Mr or Mrs or Ms.
I tend to go for as informal as possible and draw back if the situation calls for it. Seems to work well.
Face to face is difficult. P2P (Person 2 Person) is not. Use the telephone.
Very. Set the right pace and level of appreciation right off the bat. Text and email is good. But i think Joe Girard did it best when he set the record as best salesman in history selling 13,000+ vehicles in his car salesman career. His secret was greeting cards once a month with a simple message of "I like you". But that's just my opinion. Follow your heart, how do you feel about your clients? Make sure they feel that Appreciation. Appreciation equals referrals, job security, business expansion, and networking, just to name a few.
Following rankings methods according to effectiveness: 1-face to face. 2-By telephone. 3-By sms 4-By email 5-By flayer. ...
Keep business as business - Enough to connect but you aren't their to build a friendship. This isn't about your homelife or nightlife. Proficiency and Assurity that the job has / is / or will get done timely as scheduled is what your clients and your higher ups are looking for.
I have found emailing , texting , social media outreach.. less effective with making actual contact (getting a response) with my prospect vs. initially meeting them face to face or using the phone first. I like to use email, text, social media etc as great follow up tool. That being said , I do believe and use some best practices to increase the chances of interest of at least a response (not deleting or ignoring my message) all in the hopes to have a live discussion!!
Like any interaction we must be very clear and concise with our messaging so the reader can grasp the "What's in for them" to respond to you. People generally like it when you get the point right out of the gate (state your intention) , show them that you are collaborative (and relatable .. try link a common interest or connection) and will offer them value for them time (try to share best practices or help them with their objectives for time they spend with you)
Hope this helps!! Happy outreaching!
People love relatable people. So whatever your business or service is you should be able to relate to your audience within reason of the product or services you are offering. I believe in the journalist approach who, what, when, where, and why, and sometimes how. Who are you; what are you offering; when is it available; where can I see it; and why should I buy it. Answering these questions will provide you a snap shot of your business and how best to approach others.
I personally always keep in mind that the person I am reaching out to is just another human being. I keep it relaxed but professional at the same time. If you write a formal business letter, it is viewed as another "spam" type letter. When dealing with a person, remember that they are a person. In my opinion, texting is just rude, that is for close friends and family not business.