The Power of Relationship Marketing
One of my biggest pet peeves is an ‘automated tele-sales call,’ this is coming from a former top telemarketer and call center manager. Yes, I was once one of those individuals that called to sell you a children’s book club membership, set an appointment for family photos, or book a time share tour. I also grew my first business, a web design agency, via cold calling on the phone. What contributed to my success was that all my calls were directly from me, not an automated recorded message, and I made the call about you, not me or my services.
I enjoy talking with people and early on in my sales career I discovered that folks love to talk about themselves; so, I learned how to ask ‘better’ questions and then I ‘really’ listened. Using this lesson and appreciating that “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care,” a quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, was an important catalyst for me in developing relationships and has served me well over my years in business.
When I look at all the sales positions, I have held whether in retail, telemarketing, or business, I have continuously tried my best to practice ‘relationship marketing.’ This is not a phrase we heard much before the era of social media; however, it has always been a key influence in effective customer relationship management.
So, what actually is relationship marketing?
It is an on-going process that concentrates on developing long-term relationships with clients and accomplished by understanding the client’s needs and providing them with an exceptional customer experience. You can differentiate yourself from others by focusing on value, centering on customer loyalty, and lasting engagement, rather than concentrating on just getting the sale!
In the world of business, and social media, the importance of building strong connections can never be too much. Think of it as simply making a friend, though there is an art to it, and it does take dedication. My mentor, John C. Maxwell, says it best, “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”. To accurately connect and strengthen your communication that has the potential to grow your business, it is necessary to create a strategy that will direct your marketing efforts towards building a loyal network and fostering a ‘know, like and trust’ rapport.
You do this by nurturing your connections through your communications and content. Such as one-on-one conversations, in-person and online networking activities, social media posts, blogs, email marketing, videos, podcasts, webinars, workshops, speaking presentations, and promotional campaigns. Each of these strategies work, yet which one will be the most effective is determined by your networks behavior. And choosing which social platform is the best to use and put the most energy in depends on where your ideal audience is ‘hanging’ out.
The secret to building stronger relationships is to shift your approach and be open to new opportunities that will expand your reach.
Engage often with your connections with the intention of getting to know their wants and needs. Listen to learn their problems, challenges, what’s keeping them up at night, then concentrate on offering valuable solutions that will make their lives better. When you become a trusted resource, you will not only gain new clients, but you will also cultivate brand ambassadors, who will then become your best salespeople. This is the power of relationship marketing!
This article first appeared in the ‘On Purpose Woman Magazine, May/June 2023’
Author: Cheri Martin, So Social Visionary; Your Guide to Simplifying Social Media for Growth, Prosperity, and Success