Money can buy everything you need in business! Well, money can almost buy you everything you need. Relationships are essential to your business however they can not be bought. Why? Having people who believe in you, your service or product can make a huge difference in how many more customers you can gain. Finding individuals can be difficult only if you allow it to be. Don’t just search for people who need what you are offering, find people who identify with your “why” and why you do it. Passion is marketable and can easily reach other people who can benefit your business. Creating beneficial relationships require more than just a one time encounter at a local meet-up. You need to create a plan to make intentional connections with growth and have it work to your benefit in mind. I promise it is pretty simple, below are five tactics that can work for you.
Build your network
Is it not a cliche to hear that your network is your net worth? It is, however it could not be any more true. Your network should be extensive including but not limited to collegiate alumni, professional colleagues, existing customers and prospects, suppliers, contractors, politicians, and board members. Your Rolodex is filled with potential customers who at any moment will need what you are providing. The network of people you have will not become customers because they remember you from the town hall you attended 6 months ago. Understand that networking is a long-term investment and should be nurtured by adding value to the relationship. If you take nothing away from this, take my emphasis on networking. The survival of your business depends on this.
Communication is a discipline, do it early and often
Relationships remind me of organic fruit, they are healthy but have a very short shelf life. You can win anyone over with persuasion, charm, and enthusiasm however people have short term memory. The biggest mistake you can make is not to follow up with newly gained networks. Do not waste any time, follow up immediately because not only does the individual you just met have short term memory but you as well. It is not weird or unwarranted to send a nice to meet you email to a new connection. You can even consider adding them to your newsletter list and send them your most recent copy. It’s almost a rare occasion where you meet someone at the exact same time they need your services. However, if you develop a relationship with this new connection they will contact you when they are in need of your services. Educate your connections and turn them into new customers.
E-mail marketing keeps a good relationship
Nothing builds engagement and displays your value more than giving away free insight. One of the most effective ways of delivering value is doing so via email newsletter and campaigns. This intentional marketing will lead prospects to buy from you and this is at a very low cost. Email marketing is a simple way to stay relevant to your customers, display your expertise, and most importantly keep your customers engaged in your business. Along with it being cost-efficient, you get extra for your buck when your email is forwarded to like-minded customers.
Reward loyal customers, and they’ll reward you.
Have you ever heard the phrase “It’s cheaper to keep her”? Your profit will increase as long as customer retention increases. It is said that “repeat customers spend 67 percent more than new customers”, so it is safe to say that your repeat customers are not only keeping you afloat but keeping you in the green. Here is a question, what are you doing to ensure your customers are returning or how are you encouraging them to work with you again? Maintain a relationship with your loyal customers, and provide tokens of appreciation for their business and time. These kind gestures do not have to be over the top, they can be a small discount, free insights, invitation to special events, the list is infinite. If you do not keep up with your loyal customers, your competitors will.
Loyal customers are your best salespeople
Spend as much time as you can building your network and database. Sending newsletters, sales offers and updated messages of interest are helpful in getting your customers to refer your business to others. Your networks hear about opportunities you’ll never hear about. The only way to get referred to your business is if they remember you. When your customers become a part of your sales team without salary then you are officially doing something right. In real estate, they say it’s all about location, location, location, so in business, it’s all about relationships, relationships, relationships. Again find relationships, be intentional about it, water them, and watch your sales grow!