Making A Circus Out Of Your CRM

Some say that relationships are part guesswork, part instinct and part schmooze. For marketers it’s likely a good blend of all 3. P.T. Barnum famously said “every crowd has a silver lining…” but P.T. Barnum was no fool; he knew there was a bit of guesswork, instinct and schmooze to every fish they reeled in.

CRM efforts are akin to that of a circus barker; you must know the right words to say to entice, delight and even hypnotize your audience to get them to part with their hard-earned cash and believe in what you are pushing. The barker knows how to read his audience; the reluctant customer, the curious woman, the wondrous child, the thrill-seeker, the show-off, the big-spender. Each type of customer must be communicated with directly, in a way they each understand and with a gentle but prodding amount of schmaltz and schmooze to get them over the hump from being just a bystander to a participant.

It takes a lot of practice, a lot of command and definitely a lot of customer-watching to be a good barker. But it also takes some charm; and you can’t spell “charm” without CRM!

Without conjuring up the stereotyped image of a used car salesman, the true essence of a good sales pitch is a little bit of P.T. Barnum and his wisdom of crowds, right? Think about the best salesperson you know right now, either in your organization or a vendor you work with. What makes them so good that you buy from them again and again? Is it product knowledge? Their response time? Their looks? Their ability to magically produce the right price tag when you need it? Their personality? Could it be… their charm?

A helpful way to maximize your CRM and customer outreach efforts is to mirror that of your favorite sales person and a little circus barker. Do you really “know” them well enough to read them right? Are you saying all the right things and doing all the right things to convert them from a bystander into a participant? Are you magically getting them the right price at the right time when they need it? Are you showing a little charm?

If the answer is no and your customer management cycle is akin to a dried up bar of soap, then you have no charm and possibly a very bored and disengaged customer base. In fact, if you honestly think that a “chuck and duck” style of email, outbound communication and simply “throwing it out there” is all you need to do, then your circus is likely empty and full of cobwebs. If you compare your email push to “slopping the hogs,” then nobody is going to give you a blue ribbon for producing just one fat hog at this fair.

Your database should look like the front gates of a circus; customers streaming in, eyes wide with excitement and expectation, wallets bulging with tickets and dollars ready to spend. Customers will begin to break off and self-segment into different directions -- to the rides, to the food, to the attractions. Are you watching where they go? Are you keeping track of what they do and spend?

Thrill them, delight them, and feed their need for escape and immersion into your world.

Similar to guessing someone’s weight at the carnival booth, you need to eyeball that customer up and down, taking into consideration all aspects of them in order to make an educated guess. AND…that guesswork, instinct and schmooze (back where we started) is how you charm the customer to stay in your little circus.

Tags: crm
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