What is a social investment? How do you measure its return?
This is a story about social investment and how it fits into your business. I will also tell you about Joe Girard, he was the world’s best car salesman who sold 13,000 cars face to face over 15 years.
First, let’s look at what a return on investment is.
In its simplest from a return is the money you get back on top of your investment in a bank on savings schemes or bonds. There has not a lot of return in recent years with interest rates at an all time low.
But return is not all about money
Yes, there is more to investment than your money, while money goes up and down there is never a shortage of money. However, there are other investments with a higher value than cash in the bank.
These are the commodities that are not replaceable. I am talking about time, attention, value and relationship. These are the personal investments and make everything else worthwhile.
Family and friendship are an investment in time and money, of course, it takes money to sustain a family and friendships to some extent. But the real equity is the time attention and emotion. These are practical tools for building quality relationships.
The returns on these investments are priceless, we get to see children grown into adults, we get to celebrate events and achievements with friends and family. We get a return in their time attention and the support that they give us in our time of need.
Business is a combination of investments.
Your business will have a range of from the financial commitments of buildings and stock. To the time commitmentsof training staff and developing new projects. Then there is your emotional investment that you make to reach targets and goals. With business success comes the feelings of security, fulfilment and achievement. All of these are investments that go beyond the value of currency.
Investment in prospects and customers
How do you invest in prospects and clients? For most, the first investment in a prospect is advertising and promotion. The best advertising looks to attract potential clients that might resonate with our product and services.
The second stage of investment is the time in meetings or phone calls to build a relationship and repour. People only buy from people they know like and trust, and that takes the building of a relationship.
So how do you build a relationship with your prospect and customers? What do you do to show that you care? Are you in regular contact to the point where they miss your communication when it is not there. Do you have a process that is repeatable?
The Relationships that sold cars.
Lets get back to that car salesman Joe Girard and find out how he sold 13,000 cars in 15 years. He had a process.
Between 1963 and 1978 Joe Girard became the top car salesman in the world? In his 15 year career, he regularly sold over 1,000 new cars a year to retail customers. He attained a place in the Guinness World record books for selling more cars than any single person in history, 12 times achieving the top vehicle sales in the world. In his best year, he sold 1425 units, all retail.
His secret was communication and building relationships, and he built those by keeping in touch by sending Greeting cards.
He invested in a system; he employed two assistants, his team sent out over 10,000 greeting cards a month to his customers. These cards celebrated everything from Easter to Independence day. Each year he had a designer create 12 cards and then he just sent them out to his customers every month. This was the beginging of a social investment process.
Whenever someone needed a car, who was the first person they would call. When a family member or friend was looking for a car, who got the referral.
How does Joes Cards help your business
Ok, so how does this example of Joes cards apply to your business, well Joe only had the US postal service with which to work. Imagine what he would have achieved today with email and social media?
Your Communication Strategy
Having a communication strategy for your business where you connect with prospects and customers is an investment in them. The process will lead to a return on that will be greater than the profits generated.
Sales and Marketing in the 21st Century, nothing has changed since Joe’s day and yet everything has, or has it. It is all still about relationship and communication; the difference is that to be noticed a business has to be more memorable.
Big brands use a narrative
Think about the big brands that you remember, where do you see them? All of these companies us the digital medium to present and express their story. Some have a charismatic leader ( Virgin) other use story or comedy ( Compare the market). They use a narrative to present messages that are often nothing to do with the product.
The tools to communicate
With digital marketing, a business has the tools to communicate with people on an unprecedented level. Today the number of platforms is growing so whatever your prospect is into, it is possible to find them and speak to them, Your business your message can be everywhere. Social media is a social investment, as is blogging and email blasts.
Develop your story, engage with your tribe.
At Market that we help you develop your story, package it and deliver it across a range of platforms to attract new prospects and retain your current clients. Unlike Joe’s postcards we can see the journey playing out in real time, we can track the web clicks and email opens. Mad as it seems we can measure the building of your client relationships letting you see the social investment in action.
What does it cost, what does it matter if the return on investment is planned and the process can be tracked until it moves into profit?
Are you developing a strategy and get your return on investment and build relationship that lasts beyond the first sale?