On the back of a symposium, Jane Maudsley of Little Voices was prompted to think about the role love plays in franchise success
We had our national Little Voices conference a few weeks ago and I got my inspiration from the speakers at our event as well as arranging the day to inspire, motivate and add interesting, practical learning for our network.
One of the points I’ve thought deeply about ever since is the reason we attract, keep and lose our customers. This is a serious issue for every company as clients are the lifeblood of enterprises, the only part of it that provides your bottom line.
Wayne Cherry, one of our trusted suppliers from Recognition Express, the brand recognition experts, spoke at our symposium. He offered a simple answer to why any business is losing clients: “You’re not showing them enough love.”
At first I thought it sounded bonkers. Love? Really? You’re sitting there thinking that the problem is not doing enough sales. But then I realised that maybe the reason we’re not doing enough sales is because sales come from showing love.
Which made me ask myself, what do I do to show love and why am I not showing more? What does your love-o-meter look like in your business? And given my own reaction, I recognise the temptation of being smug and thinking that you do show clients love, that you’re fine and don’t need to have a love-o-meter in your business. But I implore you to consider that we all want more custom and more profitability. Why else are you in business?
So my challenge to you this month is to stop thinking about marketing and making sales and start focusing on love, to create your company love-o-meter.
The way I did it, I drew a triangle when I came back home from the event. I put my customers and those that have bought from me in three different sections of the triangle with 20 love hearts as bullet points. In each section of the triangle I considered long and hard about how much love I have shown them and how much more I could show with more concerted effort.
Sounds a bit like a marketing campaign, right? Yes, to some extent. But it’s still important to really think long and hard about it with the psychology of ‘showing enough love’. It’s helpful and provides a fresh approach when implementing those campaigns. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, rushes things and misses things. Just spending half a day considering the love you’re distributing in your business will have outstanding effects on your bottom line. I guarantee it. People buy from people. Even in B2B it’s a human transaction between two people in different companies. How can we show them love more consistently and regularly?
So against each of those hearts on the triangle around the customers names I wrote something I needed to do or something I could do better. All those hearts contained gems of activity that I had to do, think about and personalise to ensure I could communicate and, ultimately, show people love. The way you show love can be done in numerous ways. A newsletter, a phone call, a birthday card, Valentine’s card, random act of kindness card, a bulky gift sent through the post, a catch up face to face that has no agenda. You get the idea. What did you do with your loved one on Valentine’s Day? What do you do with your friends? You build relationships by building trust and by showing love and genuine care.
Being in business is no different. I’m a massive fan of handwritten letters, personal touches and taking the time to genuinely express my gratitude to the people in and around my business. If you send something packed with a personal touch and lots of love, it’s really important.
Sales is all about building relationships but you have to do the hard work that makes the selling easy. So by doing all of those hearts, by implementing everything along with emails and newsletters and other marketing activities by showing some love you will keep, gain and return lost customers. Indeed, the extra love you show to your current customers will gain loyalty. And loyalty is everything. Loyalty is reciprocated by word of mouth marketing that brings you even more customers and profit. Love-o-meter in the shape of a triangle is definitely the thing to have in your business.