Meeting in Digital Land
Many times we rely on digital communications to establish a customer relationship before face to face is welcomed. Consumers want to surf around the internet anonymously and at their own pace. With the privacy and identity theft issues, some are hesitant to provide any personal information until there is a certain level of trust established. How do you meet and nurture a relationship in the digital land to progress into a loyal customer?
How personal can you get with automated communications? It is great to have auto responders set up from your website in case you get an inquiry – people do expect to hear a response quickly or they will quickly move onto someone else. But how many automated responses will one person tolerate? Efficiency is necessary; but will you be able to work to build a relationship with auto-answers? No. It’s important to step onto the next step with some Human Connection as soon as you are able.
The next step from automation is slight personalization with the human touch. Back in the day, our choices were snail mail, email, telephone, or face to face. Today there are many more avenues to communicate. You have to listen to what each individual prefers. Not everyone will want to text message; and some will even be willing to use Tokbox or SKYPE with video chat. The possibilities reach so far spread now with Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging, email, Eyejot video emails, text messages, and even voice talking on the telephone – that communicating with your clients can take on many different formats. Endless possibilities.
Seal the Deal with Face to Face
We have to remember the importance of a face-to-face meeting. Often it will take longer to get to this point, because people want to know and have some trust in the person they are dealing with before moving forward and getting on the other side of their computer. After all, face to face takes more time. Guess what though? It’s also a sign that a consumer is ready to move forward – take the signal and run. Get face to face for an appointment so you can further assess the motivation to move forward. There is no replacement for body language.
Mix and Match
After you’ve utilized the digital and face to face avenues – mix it up. Usually you will be able to get a read, if you are listening, to what communication methods work best for them – but be sure before you’ve determined the best and even a little bit afterward – mix it up a little bit. Instead of just an email, add an eyejot message. If they prefer a text message, send them a picture to their phone of a home or something that reminds you of them.
April 9, 2009 at 10:21 am
Hi Kim – great collection of suggested tools. Thanks.
April 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm
I’m sorry but I found nothing innovative in this article to help out with internet leads.
April 9, 2009 at 6:44 pm
Kim – I think one of the hardest things to learn for me was how different “digital” leads can be. Although they can be great and you can form strong bonds with them, it takes a bit more than just an email. I sometimes wish they would respond the first 10 times, but when they call me on the 11th, it makes up for it all.
April 9, 2009 at 8:06 pm
Brandie – Yay! Glad you found them useful.
Nancy – You must be doing everything right ! Good for you.
Matt – It does take more ‘nurturing’ sometimes – and even a little bit of ‘backing off’ I believe. My signature line with e-leads at the bottom says, “Are you an Internet e-Buyer ? Looking at properties online? I respect the e-Buyer both with privacy and anonymity.” And I do ! I give them lots of ‘space’ – they seem to come around.
April 10, 2009 at 4:47 am
Kim, the only thing I would add to the list is voice to voice. The plain old telephone connects us with folks before we can have that face to face meeting.
Colorado Spirngs Real Estate by Kathy Torline
April 10, 2009 at 8:25 am
Great article, good reminders for me. I compare it to a dance with a partner that you can’t see; your never quite sure if you are leading or following.
April 10, 2009 at 9:20 am
I like the suggestions. I think balance is essential and providing the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting is what will push the conversion rates the highest. Most people (even those searching online) want help, they just don’t know how to ask for it, so when you give them an opportunity to meet to help them it’s a great fit.
I’m glad you mentioned auto-drip e-mails. They still work, especially ones that are short or includes questions 🙂