Success is leveraged by our connections, but relationships take thought, focus, effort and time to develop. Have you ever experienced what you thought was a great connection with a potential customer or client that resulted in zip, nada, nothing? All too often, I hear business owners talk about strong leads that never seem to roll around. So what gives? How do you keep the conversation going and capitalize on all those great leads you initially felt were a good fit? While first impressions are important, awareness and credibility are the two main factors that will bring that potential business full circle.
When one hears, “Yes, I’d like to work with you!” hopes run high in the mind of the business owner who tends to think his or her work is done. But just because someone verbally commits to doing something doesn’t mean the deal is done. In fact, I’m here to tell you the deal has only just begun. It’s up to you to continue the conversation and align the stars that our friend Destiny just isn’t aligning on her own.
Here are a few ways to keep the conversation going while building trust and credibility – without having to make a sales pitch.
1. Since awareness is so important, keep your message in front of potential clients by offering them something related to your business, like a high-demand complimentary gift, industry report or tips they can use. By providing information potential clients can use even before they ask for it, you’re showing you’ll be responsive and attentive to their needs. Some folks may think you’re giving away the farm, but far from it. You are being smart and savvy by providing a positioning tool that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise while letting the client know you’re generous and giving, too. To get started, collect business cards at networking events and mail or email your gifts to potential clients. If you have a storefront, offer visitors opportunities to fill out a card with their name, phone number and email address so you can follow up with a gift for them, too. It’s not sales-y – it’s you taking thoughtful, conscious action to recognize and thank people for their interest.
2. Send monthly informational or educational communications to clients and potential clients. Sharing your knowledge is the fundamental element of relationship marketing; so get those monthly e-newsletters, videos and even text messages going! But remember, no pitching allowed – send useful information only.
3. Practice patience. It takes time to build trust, so don’t become distressed, angry or depressed if your relationship marketing genius is not paying off at first. You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date (or maybe you would, but then we’d really need to have a serious talk!), and you can’t expect big business to blossom from a one-time meeting, either. The rewards will come if you stay true to yourself and your message. Just be patient and embrace the opportunity to learn more about yourself, your business and the needs of your potential customers and clients in the process.
Relationship marketing won’t break the bank and can become a highly effective, long-lasting strategy when done right. Building connections isn’t rocket science, but it does take time, focus and work. See what happens when you put these tried-and-true strategies to the test yourself and then tell me about it at www.cindymaymarketing.com/blog.
So what are you waiting for? Get connecting and enjoy the results! FBN