Dialing for Connections

Reach out to customers the old-fashioned way: Pick up the phone!
by : 

Megy Karydes

August 17, 2015
Marketing Mondays - Dialing for Connections

Somewhere between keeping up with your retail or wholesale business, making sure your images are Instagram and Pinterest-worthy, and making sure you’re creating beautifully merchandised displays, we’ve forgotten a powerful marketing tools that isn’t even a marketing tool at all: the telephone.

Yes, all those things are important to running a business, but it all comes down to the human connection. I covered how gift retailers and wholesalers can make personal connections in May, but it bears repeating because unless you are in a tourist-heavy area, August tends to be a quieter retail month for most retailers. Wholesalers, of course, are just coming off the summer trade show season. Pick up the phone and call your customers.

3 Myths About Calling Customers

Myth 1: Customers don’t like to get unsolicited calls

This is actually true. Customers don’t like to get unsolicited calls, but if they’ve done business with you and have provided you with their phone number, it’s not an unsolicited call.

Myth 2: Making calls is time consuming

Connecting with a customer is time-consuming? Making a sale is time-consuming? Worst-case scenario is you won’t reach someone and it’ll go to voice mail; best-case scenario is you make a sale. Either way, the time you take to call you customers and tell them you’re thinking of them speaks volumes. The key is to not treat the call as a sale call. The goal is not to make a sale (although if you do, great). The goal is to make a connection and let your customers know you care about them and appreciate their business.

Myth 3: You don’t like to make phone calls

This one always puzzled me because I’m under the impression that when people start a business, they’re trying to make connections or share their expertise or love of something with others. Wouldn’t they find it relatively easy to share that enthusiasm in whatever form that means? This isn’t really a myth either because some people genuinely don’t like to use the phone. Nonetheless, I encourage you to start slowly and reach out to people you know really well. The more you do it, the easier it will get.

Connecting with customers is key to any business whether you’re a gift retailer, wholesaler or something else entirely. We’re in business to connect with customers and give them with something they need or want. Let’s dial it back and make that easier for them by reaching out and making a connection using a timeless classic: the telephone.

Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm and freelance writer who often covers retail for various magazines. She likes her calendars, whether digital or on paper, and has her editorial calendar pinned to her board in her office to remind her what day it is! Find her on Twitter at @megy.