New at work? How to communicate to customers

I received this email from a trader last week:”I manage a large territory for my company and I am quite new here and I have a lot of customers.

I’ve probably met or talked to only 20% of them, which are the ones who shop regularly. The remaining 80% have bought in the past and it is very possible that they will buy more or have projects in the pipeline, but they do not know me or have forgotten about our company.

Should I send an email to introduce myself?

It’s something other than a marketing blast, rather it’s a way for me to reach a lot of people, but it takes away my personal touch.

Should I do this, or take the time to address everyone in a separate email with the general wording this is who I am and what my company has to offer and contact me if you have questions, need help, etc.

My first answer was, YES, be sure to do it.

For more than 9 years I have been involved in marketing as a job seeker and then in my business. What I have learned is that if you do not stand in front of people, they will forget about you. You are responsible for getting in front of the audience and staying ahead of it.

I also learned that the initial contact is just a break in the ice. Their key is to get in front of them regularly, as needed. This is one of the reasons why you have CRM systems. If your company doesn’t provide you with a CRM system, use JibberJobber. If your company provides you with a CRM, but you make great friendships and professional contacts that you want to use in your future work, use JibberJobber 🙂

Here are my specific thoughts and reactions to this person’s questions:

Will it be okay with your company/boss? I can’t imagine a sales expert getting into trouble sending this type of email, but maybe you should consult with your boss. They may know something about the customer they have laid off (with whom you should not socialise), or they may direct you to some tools or questions that will make it easier for you to do what you want to do.

Should it be one bulk email (BCC, of course!) or multiple individual emails? Pros and cons of both. I would say it depends on a few things… where do you send it from? If you’re sending from Gmail or Verizon or from a personal account (which I wouldn’t recommend), they have daily upload limits. If you exceed these limits, you can get into trouble (i.e., block emails from being sent for 24 hours). If you’re sending in bulk from your work account and your email server is blacklisted, count on maybe 5% of your emails going through (I don’t know the percentage, but suppose almost none goes through). The idea of doing one bulk email is nice because it’s faster, but I’m not convinced it’s that reliable.

Sending individual emails is, in my opinion, more reliable, and you can do 20 to 50 of them a day. It even helps you manage responses over days, instead of all on the first day or two. However, it obviously takes more time. The real question is, how many emails do you send? If it’s 10,000, do it in bulk and get out of here. If it’s just a few hundred, send a few dozen every day until you’re done.

As for the “personal contact”, you can simply do it using individual emails… But you can also do it in bulk. There are programs that you can use (for example, mailchimp and even outlook) that can merge names with general text…

What information should an email contain? The number one purpose of this email is to introduce yourself. This will strengthen the branding of your company (in other words, remind the customer that your company exists and has things for them). You should give them contact information… work and cell number (that’s how salespeople roll, right?). Keep email short… do not venture into new products, etc. I’d like to let them know that I’m a new representative, I’m excited to be there, and I’m easily reachable (and responsive). I want them to know that I am their partner and I want to help their projects to be successful. I will include one comment about my company, for example, “we make the best widgets for ________”. so that people remember where I fit into their lives. And as overwhelming as it may sound, I invite them to call me next week (or two) and tell me what projects they are working on, what’s coming up, any issues from past projects with our stuff, etc.

I want this email to establish a relationship and invite them to allow us to take it to the next level. It can be an email, it can be a phone call, it can be a personal contact… But let me introduce you and let’s start the relationship.

How often should I watch? What should the sequel have? Make sure that this first email is not the last email. As a customer, I know that I need multiple communications before I can start trusting you, and I need you to reach out to me at the right time or around the right time (or when I’m in the market to buy your stuff). I propose to make an explosion, en masse, every month. It can be short, it can talk about new products, or it can talk about case studies where your products/services have helped other customers. The last thing would be the most interesting read for me. It keeps me in suspense (because it’s fun to read) and shows me that you understand that my success is important to me and is important to you too. I’m not just a customer to help you meet your quota, but you really care. Key? MONTHLY.

How do I justify future follow-up? What if I don’t have anything new to say or report? Then create something. Talk to your customers and ask them if they could share some of their winnings with your list. If you don’t get these stories, create information that will help others… suggestions, tips, best practices, industry news, etc. Don’t write too much – we all suffer from information overload and you don’t want to be that email that I’m sure to delete.

Is that so? Will I be successful with this strategy? I think not. I think you need to have an integrated approach to sales/marketing… that is, pick up the phone. Meet customers in person. Don’t just rely on email. But you already knew that.

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