Relationships.  Relationships are the single most important asset to a business.  Relationships with your customers and prospects don’t just happen overnight.  They don’t happen because you have a good idea and a passion or because you have a great-looking website. Connecting with people happens through communication.

It is like marriage

will you marry me

I have been married for 14 years now.  (sweet, glorious years!)  When I first met my wife, I didn’t say, “Hey let’s get married.”  We talked.  We got to know each other.  We spent hours learning about each other.  One date at a time.  When I knew she was the one – and we completed the transaction with marriage 🙂

Do you date your customers?

What?  Date your customers?  Do you put out an ad and expect your customers to flock to your door or create a great website and expect orders to start rolling in?  It doesn’t happen.  If it does, it doesn’t last.  Did you know there are more small businesses that fail each year than marriages?

It takes time, money, energy, and effort

It takes 5 – 10 communications to generate a sale from a prospective new customer.  (how many dates did you have before you found the right person?)   Here’s why:

  • Either, you have a totally new product or service few people have heard of…then your challenge is education. What is it? Why is it useful? Why is it worth paying for?
  • Or you have a product or service everyone knows about…then your challenge is differentiation. Why are you better, faster, cheaper, more convenient, and so on?

Know, Like and Trust

A single promotion that ‘educates’ your audience or ‘differentiates’ you still is unlikely to create enough profit to encourage enough people to buy from you.  What are the chances that after one promotion, a new customer is going to buy from you?  Marketing your business isn’t an event; it’s a series of related events. It’s a process. It’s a relationship.

The purpose of your marketing should be to find a customer, who has a need, to know you, like you, and trust you.  That is my favorite definition of marketing – and it lends itself well to the rest of this article….

Spend Money Wisely

capital

If you spend all of your money trying to market to new customers, you are always marketing to people that do NOT know you – if they don’t know you, they may not like you – and they definitely don’t have enough trust built up to buy from you immediately. It is expensive to attract new client; as high as 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than attract repeat business from your existing customers.

So why not spend your time focusing on your current client base, while lowering your cost to build the “know, like, trust’ with new customers?

Your Most Powerful Mode of Building Relationships

Emailed Newsletter.  Email is the perfect way to connect with your audience.  We are addicted to email.  How many time to you check your email?  Do you leave it on all day?  Do you get it delivered to your cell phone?  Do you check your email before you go to bed?

E-newsletters are easy to assemble, cost nothing (or very little) to send, have a higher open rate than regular direct mail, and gain loyal readers. PLUS, it is measurable!

  • Want to know how many of your newsletters were opened?  You will know.
  • Want to know which customers consistently read your newsletters? You can!
  • Want to know what is the most popular article in your newsletter?  Yes, you will know that too.

My Favorite Tool

My favorite tool for managing e-newsletters is Constant Contact.  We have been using them for years, and I trust them with my email campaigns.  Their tools allow your customers to subscribe to your newsletter; but they also manage the process for your customers to un-subsribe.  This is important.

ONE ACTION ITEM: To try Constant Contact free for one month.  Sign up and give it a try.

Do you want even more tips?  Sign up for my companies’ newsletter to see how we use Constant Contact.  You can always unsubscribe – so what is stopping you from giving it a try?

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