We have discussed how badly designed websites can damage your reputation and drive away customers so easily. However, websites are by no means the only way to damage your reputation - there are other acts of commission and omission that can sufficiently upset your customer to dump you midway in a negotiation or not respond to your offer at all.
Tragedy is, many of us either do not understand the significance of such acts or are plain insensitive. Selling in international market has never been simple - with diverse language, geographical distance, cultural difference and lack of market knowledge posing real challenge to any manufacturer/exporter. The challenge becomes even more formidable when buyer and seller interact through as anonymous a medium as Internet.
This week, we take a close look at acts of commission that can spread negative image about your company:
Mass Mailing or Spam
E-mail is a wonderful medium for communication - its fast, reliable and at the same time inexpensive. No wonder, e-mail has become so popular for individuals as well as businesses in such a short time. A good e-mail marketing strategy is essential to be successful in international business.
However, indiscriminate use of e-mails can severely damage your reputation. Badly constructed, non-personalized, mass e-mails never gets you customers - only bad image. With fast e-mailing software, sending same e-mail to hundreds or thousands of customers may look cost effective monetarily - but it also gets you negative image and even blacklisting (fire walled) by ISPs.
Never fall for absolute numbers - look for quality. Every mail that you send must be personalized with not only individual name and address but in a specific context relevant to the recipient. The recipient must feel that you have addressed his/her concerns/requirements in a one-to-one basis - not a shabby janta-mail type general treatment.
Obviously - the above is impossible if you are collecting e-mails from all and sundry and sending mass mails. You must research for leads or get it from qualified sources, send individual mails to prospective customers addressing his/her requirement/concern and then follow these up with more mails, telephone calls, chats etc.
Remember - mass-mailing or spamming is not only illegal but is perceived as "poor man's marketing" and a threat to privacy.
Mind Your Language
Your sales letter to a prospective customer is a representative of your company. If it looks good, customer may perceive you as professional. If it looks bad - you may be perceived unreliable or unprofessional. Here's few tips:
- Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad
Vol: 3, Issue 27
October 24' 2002