By now, you have likely heard the phrase Relationship Marketing quite a bit. It’s thrown around frequently in the real estate, internet marketing industry as well as in mainstream marketing circles.
Most people have at least a very loose understanding of what it entails. However, not many sales people or entrepreneurs fully understand how absolutely vital relationship marketing is to their business, especially if you are looking to make 2019 your BEST year ever for your business.
If you have an automated follow up system already in place with your clients and you currently use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software system to stay on top of follow up with your existing clients to send out a thank you note, birthday card and holiday wishes you already have a very good, basic understanding of Relationship Marketing and are significantly ahead of the pack.
Consider the following statistics: (Source: Hubspot State of Inbound Marketing):
- 22% of sales people are unaware of what a CRM is, let alone know how to use one effectively to boost sales and productivity (Source: Hubspot State of Inbound Marketing)
- 40% of sales people use an archaic spreadsheet method or an ineffective email contact system to store vital client data (Source: Hubspot State of Inbound Marketing)
- CRM systems increase sales by up to 29% and sales productivity by as much as 34% (Source: Hubspot State of Inbound Marketing)
- The ROI (Return on Investment) for CRM systems is a whopping $8.71 for every dollar spent. (Nucleus Research)
Give yourself a pat on the back if you have a CRM system in place that you use on a consistent basis to enter all of your customers data into. Studies show that when you are able to access your CRM from multiple devices sales productivity increases by as much as 47%.
Be sure to check out my full review of Send Out Cards, an automated Relationship Marketing Greeting Card & Gifting System that you can use in addition to your existing CRM platform to streamline your Relationship Marketing touches and campaigns.
However, these systems are only the TIP of the iceberg. There is so much more to Relationship Marketing than finding the right CRM system and implementing it regularly. If you are content merely scratching at the Relationship Marketing surface then consider it a day and read no further.
IF you would like to amplify your Relationship Marketing and stretch your strategy to the limits, make certain you read this entire article to ensure that you are able to maximize your results and explode your business in 2019.
Traditional Marketing Tactics Just Won’t Work in 2019 and Beyond
The first and main reason that Relationship Marketing is so important is that a large part of the traditional business model consists of marketers, advertisers and businesses in general, telling customers what they need to do, how they should feel and what they should buy. There is ZERO emphasis on building a relationship and gaining the customers trust before outright asking for the sale.
In this day and age consumers are information savvy and very sophisticated. Almost all research before purchasing a product starts online where a consumer has access to nearly every piece of information needed before walking into a store or making a purchase online.
If a consumer feels under appreciated or is bombarded with insincere sales techniques or hasn’t developed trust in you or your products, the consumer will either walk out of the store or click away from your website. There are simply too many other options available to the average shopper.
What does this mean for you and how do you prevent potential customers from walking out of your store or clicking away from your website?
It starts with gaining their trust with sincere and educational information about what your product is and how it will make their lives easier. Consumers are only interested in WIIFM (what’s in for me?) Delivering used salesman types of sales pitches just won’t cut it.
Begin by educating them about your products and offering no cost product information teaching them about how your product will make their lives easier before asking for the sale outright.
Invest In And Strengthen The Relationships You Have With Your Customers Now
Secondly, more than 90% of customers ask a trusted friend or colleagues for their recommendations before making a purchase, particularly if it is an expensive one. This means that not only should you be building and maintaining relationships with your current customer base, but if you are not mindful of the potential referral business that will be sent your way by doing so, you are really missing the boat. Isn’t it worth it to deepen your relationships with your existing client base?
However, it goes much deeper than merely mining your existing database for referral business!
Kody Bateman in his book “The Power of Human Connection: How Relationship Marketing is Transforming the Way People Succeed” states that “you should invest 80% of your time building relationships with your customers and 20% of your time marketing to your customers and not the other way around.
What does this mean for you? It means sending out personalized ‘touches’ throughout the year to celebrate your clients and their family and not mention your business at all. These touches should be absolutely focused on your clients important life events or triumphs and truly enjoying these events with them, not just hoping to get business because you took the time to send out a card.
If that doesn’t get your attention consider that improving your relationships with your current customers will, as a result- naturally improve your bottom line. This should NOT be your only concern nor your TOP concern. I cannot emphasize this STRONGLY enough. Your customers can see through insincere attempts at gaining their trust and relationship.
Be sure to check out my full review of Send Out Cards, an automated Relationship Marketing Greeting Card & Gifting System that you can use for your marketing touches.
Customer Loyalty Wins The Game
Lastly, according to INC.com,”Real success, the kind that exists on multiple levels, is impossible without building great relationships (INC, 2013). In business, demonstrating VALUE for your customers’ money means that your product (service) must have certain features and benefits for your customers. For customers to drive your business, it is imperative that you find people who believe in your products or services. (Source Huffington Post).
Let’s take this a step further here. You simply cannot develop a following of loyal customers without nurturing relationships. You cannot have one without the other.
Developing a loyal customer base takes both time and patience. This isn’t something that will happen overnight. With time and perseverance it will happen though. When you stop to consider the value of loyal customers, consider my personal story.
I just love to support women based businesses and many of these businesses include Multi Level Marketing (I have always been intrigued by the idea that the majority of women that become millionaires, do so with MLM type of businesses). I have spent thousands of dollars on several types of products offered by these business over the past thirty years.
Many times the initial purchases were $200.00 or above. I find it both unbelievable and appalling that I have never ONCE received a personal thank you note. This also obviously means that I also never received any type of customer appreciation after placing subsequent orders with the same person. Oftentimes, subsequent orders involve automatic monthly shipments of product equaling $100.00 per month for a year.
If you do the math adding the initial purchase of $200.00 plus monthly shipments of $100.00 for twelve months I have essentially spent $1400.00 in one year without ever hearing so much of a peep of appreciation from the individuals whose small business I was happy to support. If I haven’t put a fine enough point on this, I went out of my way to support a total stranger’s small business instead of spending my money at a typical brick and mortar store.
I did this because:
- I believe in supporting small business, in particular women owned businesses
- The product is more expensive than in traditional stores, so I expected more service
- I sought out a particular person online, researched them a bit and was hoping to embark upon a business relationship
This is significant. After all of this work, none of the above panned out. I received no remarkable service, no personal appreciation and nothing significant for my time or extra money spent.
I eventually stopped purchasing from these individuals as I felt very unappreciated as someone that supported the success of another, and wanted to be a part of that.
Let’s take this story a bit further here. If ten people per year feel the same way I do, this particular sales person has lost a whopping $14,000 in sales revenue. I would have kept buying if someone, ANY ONE of the dozens of MLM sales persons I have happily purchased from over the years expressed ANY type of personal appreciation.
Appreciation means a lot to the customers that are supporting your business success and the lack of it means they, (like me) will simply move on and support a small business that takes the time to appreciate them. Your customers want to feel that they are a part of your dream and your success.
Your customers efforts to support your business should mean as much to you, as it does to them.
Appreciate Them often and watch 2019 be your best year for your business.
What are your thoughts on Relationship Marketing? Let me know what you thought of this article.
Please be sure to leave me any comments about your experiences as a customer whether they are good or bad I love hearing them!
Andria D. Franklin