Relationship Marketing -- The Key to a Truly Successful Long Term Business

What is relationship marketing? You probably know all about it from experience, even if you've never used the term before. Think of your experiences as a customer! If you had the choice between paying your insurance bill at an office where you are greeted with a friendly hello, where the staff remember you and call you by name, or an office where the staff ignore you and act as if accepting your payment is a waste of their time? Ah, you can see it's not a difficult choice!

We all prefer to do business with people we like, and people that make us feel comfortable. If a person feels that they are treated with kindness, that you are their friend and trusted advisor, they will begin to feel that they have a relationship with you.

Relationship marketing is an attitude of respect and caring towards your customers and business associates. Relationship marketing is central to doing business with heart, and is key to creating a successful long term business. When you take the time to establish a relationship with your customer, they develop a connection with you and become loyal to you. They begin to trust you and wouldn’t think about doing business with anyone else.

Relationship marketing is not a 'get rich quick" technique. Establishing relationships with people takes time and energy, and requires authentic participation on your part. Here are a few tips on creating relationships with your customers and clients.

  • Focus on helping your customers. They are coming to you for a reason, they have a need for your product or service. Be grateful that they are trusting you with their business! If you act like you are doing them a favor by providing your product or service, they will go elsewhere!

  • Give first, then receive. Instead of thinking about all the things you will get for helping your clients, think about the positive things that they can accomplish in their lives with your help. If someone is just looking for advice, give them the answers they need. They may come back to you when they're ready to buy!

  • Be a real person. Yes, it is important to present a professional image in your business, but you also don’t want to be so professional that you intimidate your customers. Let them know that you are a fellow human being. Like everyone else, you occasionally have a bad day or the kids are sick and everything seems to go wrong. If people can see that you are “one of them”, they are more likely to feel a connection with you and to be willing to do business with you.

  • Communicate clearly. A key component of any relationship is communication. Nowadays there are many creative and fun ways to Keep your customers updated. You can create a blog or updates on your website, or maintain a mailing list, as long as you have their permission. If someone has recently purchased something from you and has a question or needs assistance, answer their email or phone call promptly.

By incorporating solid relationship marketing practices into your business, you will find that your customers feel appreciated and valued. Happy customers are much more likely to send you referrals, and as you continue to share positive energy with people in your business, it will expand and come back to bless you many times over!


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