Discover the Power of FOUR
By Dwayne Lee, M.Photog., Cr. - API
Have you ever realized how powerful the number Four is? Most street intersections have four corners. A vast majority of paintings, photographs, and frames have four sides. Cars have four wheels. There are four primary directions – North, South, East, and West.
So what does this have to do with your photography business? Incorporating the ideas behind the “Four-mula for Success” (developed and written by Murray and Neil Raphel plus Ray Considine) into your daily operations could catapult your business to the top in a relatively short time. It has actually worked for hundreds of different businesses for decades.
Examining the “Four-mula for Success”
Your only commitment to this process is to set aside a few minutes of each workday to contact customers. There are four different approaches you can use, too. You can do one from each category, or four from one category, or ANY combination of four. Whatever you decide, the result is always the same: more business.
Sounds too easy, doesn’t it? That’s where the problem lies. Each of the four key approaches has one underlying tenant: communication with your clients. It’s actually so easy that many people won’t make it a daily habit. But for those that do, the rewards will be bountiful. Let’s get started.
Each day, write four notes to your good customers. Simply telling them about a special promotion you are having or just a short “thank you for being a customer” is fine. It’s been proven that notes like this get passed around amongst their inner circle until the note frays at the edges!
When was the last time your received a personal note of ‘thanks’ from a place of business that you had spent money? How did it make you feel? Can you imagine your clients getting the same warm feeling when they get your hand-written note?
A personal written note to a customer is rare in this world of faxes and e-mails. Very few people actually receive a personal letter anymore, thus making this media so much more impressive. Staying in contact with your customer is excellent public relations, reminding them that you are still in business and are ready to serve their needs.
FOUR TELEPHONE CALLS
This is just like the four notes, only using the phone instead of pen and paper. Ask anyone you know when was the last time they received a positive phone call from anyone with who they did business. Their response will probably be rarely or never.
You might consider a purchase threshold where you automatically call the client within a day or two of the purchase to say thank you. Imagine, then, the reaction your client will have when you call them and thank them for a recent purchase or just wanted to make sure they were pleased with their purchase. Talk about great P.R. You’ll be the ‘talk of the town’!
FOUR PERSONAL CONTACTS
When you purchase business cards, how long does a box of 500 or 1,000 last you? One sales manager I heard about goes through a box of business cards EVERY month!
Business cards are actually miniature billboards. They tell people what you do and sell, and help remind them for a long time. And amazingly, they tell people how to contact you.
Wherever you go, carry a load of business cards with you. Hand them out (Duh! They don’t do you any good in your pocket!) Give one to a waiter/waitress at the restaurant. And to the ticket-taker at the movie. And to business acquaintances. When introduced to someone, give them your card. Business cards cost a few pennies each, but can sow seeds that will continue to bear fruit.
Ask for the order. I have seen and heard of so many studio owners who fail to follow through on all of their hard work. Once you get a new client to know who you are and express an interest in your business, make it easy for them to do business with you. Make your presentations, then ask for the order. It’s called follow-through. Like golf, a good follow-through generates positive results.
I read about a banker in New Jersey who played golf every Saturday for years with a very prominent businessman. One day, the banker asked the businessman. “Tom, we’ve been playing golf together every Saturday for the past four years. How come you don’t have any money in my bank?”
Tom answered, “How come you never asked me?” How many of your clients would say, “You never asked me.”
Do one of each or any four of these approaches every day. The result will be more than 1,200 contacts a year. And if only one in ten respond, you just made more than 100 EXTRA sales. These are sales you would not have had.