Believe it or not, VO BOSSES, we are only 6 weeks away from the end of the year! For many of us, 2020 has seemed like a decade, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is more than likely a welcoming sight for many. However, before this year steals all the toilet paper, there are opportunities to turn it into a winning one for your business. Yes, you heard me correctly - opportunities! There has never been a better time to connect with your clients in a more personal and genuine way. We all have a common shared experience at the moment and are all going through this new reality together. Tap into that unfulfilled need for personal connection by creating a meaningful end of year contact with all of your clients.
I'm so Emotional
We all know that we need to connect with our clients from time to time to keep us top of mind. The end of the year is no different. In fact, it may even be one of the most important times to connect. There is actually science behind this. According to a recent Harvard Business Review study titled “The New Science of Customer Emotions“, emotionally engaged customers are:
At least three times more likely to recommend your product or service
Three times more likely to re-purchase
Less likely to shop around (44% said they rarely or never shop around)
And are much less price-sensitive (Interestingly enough, 33% said they would need a discount of over 20% before they would defect).
Start by going through your CRM reports or accounting software and generate your list of connections. Don't forget to celebrate your wins and be grateful for your clients this year no matter how big or small your list is. In years past, I have always sent out a professional card that has a generic message on it like “Happy Holidays" or "Happy New Year” or “Wishing you the best”. I would always handwrite a note on the card as well to make it more personal. This year, that personal written connection is more important than ever. Make sure that your sentiments really stand out and help to create a more emotional connection with your client. Handwriting (a lost art form these days) this message really helps to add to this intimacy. DON’T use this as an opportunity to advertise your VO services - It will more than likely come off as disingenuous or "sell-y".
Person to Person or Station to Station.
One thing that might help is to let go of the idea of “B2B” or “business to business” and think more along the lines of “human to human”. When we embrace this paradigm shift, it allows us to become more empathetic in our thought process. As voice artists, we already have an intimate relationship speaking as the "voice" of our client - let your clients know what an honor it is and how grateful you are to be aligned with their brand in this unique way. Consider going beyond the "business-speak" and extend well wishes to them personally as well as their family. This includes their four-legged family as well! Do they own a pet? You might consider sending their pet a gift as a token of appreciation. Or perhaps a client has mentioned that they are learning to paint to relieve stress during this time - a great gift might be a small artsy paintbrush with a thank you card. Bigger is not especially better when it comes to meaningful and unique gift-giving. Look for ways to genuinely express thanks in a way each of your clients will appreciate.
I Just Called To Say
After this crazy year of video conferences, workshops, and Zoom meetings, as well as the sometimes impersonal email and text communication, consider a tried and true analog friend - the phone! It's a quick and convenient way to reach out and connect with a more tactile medium than writing and bad video - and one which we are all oh so familiar with - our voices! I have always introduced myself to my new clients with a quick phone call - connecting serves to validate a new client as well as make sure they are taken care of with the utmost care prior to providing exactly the right audio for their needs. It answers questions and solves impromptu issues a whole lot quicker than email. In addition, this real-time communication allows us to convey authentic emotions such as gratitude and warmth much easier and quicker, making our clients feel valued - and showing that you respect them enough to take the time to personally reach out. It's certainly a great reason to connect to those clients you haven't spoken to in a while, without sounding like a sales pitch. And, if they don't answer, you can always leave a voicemail expressing your gratitude for a great year together.
Swipe Left, or...
One other item to consider before you reach out to clients is to take a look at their website and social media posts to really get to know them from a business/personal standpoint. What is their company doing right now? If you take a moment to really observe and listen, it could spark a memorable interaction opportunity that would really stand out. Make sure to check for an "About" page, as well as any "Team" pages to see if you can get a feel for the company and its culture. Perhaps they have a community charity or outreach they support? You might consider sending a donation in their name as a gift. Check any recent blog posts for up to date products, projects, or communications with their customers, or fun end of year projects to help inspire more creative ideas for gift giving.
Whatever you decide to do, sooner is much better than later. Get ahead of the crowds! Don’t wait until the end of the year when everyone else is flooding your client's inboxes. You know that feeling you get when you receive an unexpected gift or thank you card? Yeah, that’s what you’re aiming for! That’s the feeling you want your client to have when they think of you. Pull on those heartstrings a little. When you strengthen an emotional connection, you build trust and reliability. This in turn breeds loyalty, which is really the road you want to head down. So be creative and act now. Your VO clients will love you for it!
Much love and Keep on rockin' your biz.
About the Author: Anne Ganguzza is a full-time voice talent and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voice over and business skills - including VO demo training and production. She specializes in Conversational Commercial and Narration styles, including Corporate, E-Learning, Technology, Healthcare - Medical, Telephony, and On-Hold. Located in Orange County, CA, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students in person and via Skype, ipDTL or Zoom.