I have always enjoyed the posters at Despair.com. If you need a good laugh, check them out. My favorite poster there states, “Consistency: It’s only a virtue if you’re not a screw-up.”
So let’s start being consistently awesome!
Let’s look at three primary ways to be consistent:
- Consistency in Message
I was seriously considering the service of a specific business, but the timing was not right. We were about to set a follow-up time when he started mentioning the network marketing business he was part of. He wanted to know whether I would be interested.
I experienced an inconsistency in message. Do you sell insurance or makeup? I am not opposed to complementary products, or even having a side businesses; just make sure your potential client knows to whom she is talking.
If you are sending mixed signals to your target market, it is not intentional. Most of us do not want to be thought of as dishonest. When your message is inconsistent, your potential client starts to think you would say anything to get the sale.
On the other hand, repetition is the best way to learn something. If you are constantly beating the drum about how your client’s life will be easier, more exciting, more safe, more delicious, or more anything, she will be more consistent in buying from you.
- Consistency in Frequency
Jay Conrad Levinson, in his book, Guerilla Marketing, explains how a customer needs to be exposed to your message seven to nine times before she makes the decision to buy. However, a customer only consciously acknowledges your message one out of five times. Therefore, she needs to be exposed to it forty-five times before she is ready to buy.
While those numbers are staggering, you can improve them with targeted marketing, great content, and being consistent in your frequency.
If you are running ads on your local radio station and have decided to buy fifty spots, it would be better to run the ad three times a week at the same time (or on the same day and time over an extended period), than to run the ad at fifty random times for the next month.
A customer will be more likely to place trust in you if she is hearing you over several months because she perceives longevity in your business. That longevity communicates several desirable aspects of your business. It tells folks you are successful—and if other people are buying from you so much you can stay on the radio for several months, then you must be good. It tells them you are going to be around if they have any problems with your product. It also tells them you are interested in the long-term and not just a quick buck.
A quick caveat to consistency in advertising: This is for advertising that has already been tested and shown to be effective. As I mentioned before, direct-response marketing is the most effective for small businesses. Make sure your consistency in marketing is not a “branding” campaign.
- Consistency in Follow-Through
The money is in the follow-up. That is one of the major differences between old-fashioned ads and today’s direct response sales process. Failure to follow up with a prospect or customer is why most sales don’t happen. Remember that it takes seven to nine conscious exposures to you before clients buy. If you already know who those clients are and how to contact them, why are you waiting for the other forty-four advertising exposures? Call, email, send a letter, knock on the door. Follow through with potential clients while building a relationship.
While you are following up, remember the long-term plan. Clients may not be interested now, but life changes, businesses move, employees quit, contracts are lost. You may only contact a potential client once a year. You won’t know what has changed until you call him or her.
Be consistent in your message and don’t let potential clients down. Your ability to follow through will impress them and develop a higher level of credibility.
If you are ever to get through to your customers, you have to begin to cut through the advertising clutter that is choking them.
By implementing the 4Cs (Content, Clarity, Consistency, and Call to Action), your marketing message will better resonate with the niche that we established in the last chapter. You can begin to develop a deeper relationship with your customers because they feel that you understand them and are speaking directly to them. They trust you more because you communicate clearly and simply who you are and how you help them. That trust is again increased as they see your consistency across time and by experiencing your business in different ways—yet always consistently. Finally, you have given them a clear next step with a specific call to action. They know exactly what to do next and you have made it easy for them to do it.