Small business owners, like mobile entertainers, are faced with a new and complex challenge in targeting and communicating with new clients. The increased mobility of written communication has dramatically changed the way we present our value proposition, engage clients in conversation and attract new business.
The art of communicating in our increasingly mobile society has set the stage for all new rules of written dialog, meaning shorter and more effective delivery of messages
It’s been determined through research, surveys and wedding-industry statistics that, on average, a person gets over 50 emails a day, with nearly half of those being irrelevant to the recipient. A majority of those irrelevant emails are deleted even before being read. The split-second determination to delete an irrelevant email is made just from the subject line or the sender themselves. If a recipient doesn’t recognize the sender or feels the email is a general solicitation, they’ll delete it without reading it. Even more surprising is that if an email appears to be “long-winded” and full of unnecessary images or content, it, too, will quickly be deleted.
So how do you get a prospective client to communicate with you? One answer: You don’t want to change the mode in which you are communicating via email or mobile messaging, but rather how the context is drafted and presented. Be mindful of these points:
- Everything should be written for mobile screens. Ask yourself: How much scrolling do you need to
do to read and clearly comprehend what the message is telling you?
- Messages should be short, concise and shouldn’t include unnecessary images. Keep the logos, badges and awards to a minimum. You only need to display the current year’s wedding award, for example — that’s all your potential client is concerned about.
- More than half of millennials prefer a text message from a business as a way of introduction,compared to emails that take longer to read.
A robust website, marketing page via search-engine sites like WeddingWire or The Knot, and printed materials will clearly provide the prospective client information about your company. Emails and texting is to engage the client in conversation, creating a personal connection to develop trust and inspire the need to do business with you.
Simply put: “More is less and less is more”
Sales are not solely driven by inquiries through the Internet, but, rather, by what we develop within our network, via direct and indirect referrals. For any business owner, walking into a crowded room of wedding vendors and feeling lost or out of place can be challenging. The majority of DJs that I’ve encountered at networking events feel compelled to do the following when introduced to another business person: “Impress strangers by reciting their resume.”
The initial acceptance of new introduction is because of a person’s warmth, as conveyed by eye contact, a warm expression and a smile — not because of perceived competence.
Three types of groups often emerge at networking events:
- Loud and Laughing, sharing private jokes and memories of the past.
- Tight Group, talking intently and trying to solve pressing problems. These are the toughest groups to break into.
- Loose Group, often muddling along in conversation, and is mostly likely to welcome a newcomer and your best opportunity to gain new connections.
Once you, as the newcomer, are welcomed, you need to be prepared to think about things you want to learn and those you are looking to meet. Get in a mindset so you’re prepared to listen to others to make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to connect, to learn and bond with those that can help your business.
Quickly identify opportunities to “give business” rather than “get business.” To do this, be willing to offer knowledge — even to competitors, as this will develop a level of trust and professionalism to those you connect with.
You are at a networking event to help others with resources or introductions as well. A successful networking event is when you can provide more introductions than the number of business cards you can collect.
Reconnecting after a networking event should not be a sales event. Rather, it’s an opportunity to develop further a relationship with those that will continue to help build your business. Just as you are changing your strategies for communicating with new clients, the same now holds true for communication with other business professionals, as they, too, are now reading on mobile devices.
To learn more and gain a deeper understanding of the new art of communication and networking, join me, the “DJ Times Money Answerman” for my seminar at the DJ Expo in August.
Jerry Bazata has over 25 years of experience as a professional mobile entertainer. He’s the owner of DJ Jaz Music & Entertainment and J&J Marketing & Entertainment, and is a leading consultant to the event-planning and music industries.