Monthly Archives: October 2012

Customer relationship and marketing

Promote your business by building relationships. Yes, its true, customer relationships drive your business. It’s about finding right people who believe in your products or services. You can spend big bucks but its like rolling boulder up a hill. You want to drive your business into new territory, but every step is hard and expensive. But there are ways to achieve the goal.

Develop an army to help you push that boulder up the hill instead. How do you do that? You develop relationships with people who don’t just understand your particular expertise, product or service, but are equally excited about what you do. You stay connected with them and give them value, and they’ll touch other people who can benefit your business. Powerful relationships don’t just happen from one-time meetings at networking events. You don’t need pocketful of random business cards to clutter your desk. What you need is a plan to make those connections grow and work for you. Here are few pointers you remember while you are out on a mission.

Build your network, it’s your sales lifeline. Your network includes business colleagues, professional acquaintances, prospective and existing customers, partners, suppliers, contractors and association members, as well as family, friends and people you meet in your community. Contacts are potential customers waiting for you to connect with their needs. Ofcourse, you need to understand that networking is a long-term investment. Do it right by adding value to the relationship, and that contact you just made can really pay off. Communicate like your business’s life depends on it.

Communication is a key here, so do it early and often. Relationships have a short shelf life. No matter how charming, enthusiastic or persuasive you are, no one will likely remember you from a business card or a one-time meeting. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they come home from networking events and fail to follow up. Make the connection immediately. Send a “nice to meet you” e-mail or let these new contacts know you’ve added them to your newsletter list and then send them the latest copy. Immediately reinforce who you are, what you do and the connection you’ve made. Its a fact, you rarely meet people at the exact moment when they need what you offer. If you stay on their minds, it’s easier to keep a connection warm than to warm it up again once the trail goes cold. So take the time to turn your network of connections into educated customers.

E-mail marketing keeps relationships strong on a shoestring budget. It is cost-effective and easy way to stay on customers’ minds, build their confidence in your expertise, and retain them. Build your reputation as an expert by giving away some free insight. You have interesting things to say! An easy way to communicate is with a brief e-mail newsletter that shows prospects why they should buy from you. And it’s viral, contacts who find it interesting or valuable might forward your e-mailer or newsletter to other people, just like word of mouth marketing.

Reward loyal customers, according to Bain and Co., on average, repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers. So your most profitable customers are repeat customers. Now the question is, are you doing enough to encourage them to work with you again? Stay in touch, give them something of value in exchange for their time, attention and business. It doesn’t need to be too much, anything of their use will suffice like notice of a special event, helpful tips, advice or news, can be effective. Remember, if you don’t keep in touch with your customers, you are loosing out because your competitors will.

Customers are best sales agent, so spend time to build your customer relationship and do the follow-ups. Make use of cost effective tools like e-mailers. Send out simple newsletter, an offer or an update message of interest to your pool of networks. If they remember you and your offerings they will deliver value to you with referrals. They are in the market, and are aware of opportunities you’ll never hear about. That is why it is very important to remain in touch with your customers.

Thus, in order to close this we cannot deny the fact that small business is all about relationships, relationships and relationships.

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