The 3 R’s of Relationship Marketing

Posted on September 23, 2014. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Marketing, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The 3 R's of Relationship MarketingIn my previous post, How to Grow Your Business with Relationship Marketing, I defined Relationship Marketing as the activities involved in building a greater connection with your clients, prospects and partners.  This strong connection often leads to the sale of products or services, and also increases loyalty to your brand or company.

The benefits of using Relationship Marketing strategies in your business include the following 3 R’s:

  1. Referral Business-  Referral business can be one of the best ways to get business, because a referral basically comes with an endorsement from the person who is doing the referring.  A great source of referrals comes from current clients, partners, and even your prospects, so building a strong relationship with your clients, prospects, and partners becomes vital for your business.  In order for someone to feel comfortable referring you, they must know, like and trust you.  When you use online relationship marketing strategies including, email, blogging, social media, etc., these activities help people to get to know you, like you and trust you, which in turn gives them confidence in referring your products or services to others.  Referrals can be a great source of new business and can be a large percentage of where you get your business from, so nurturing your relationships with relationship marketing is a great way to grow your business through referrals.
  2. Repeat Business–  Once a person becomes your customer by purchasing a product or a service, your next goal should be to stay top of mind so that they will purchase that product or service again if they need it, or they will consider your company for other products or services that they may need.  That’s why conducting relationship marketing with your current customers by practicing activities to nurture the relationship and stay top of mind will help with getting repeat business from your current customers.  Some relationship marketing strategies you can use for current customers include; Customer Appreciation Events, Sending Cards on special occassions including: Birthdays, Holidays, Anniversaries, Offering VIP discounts for current customers, etc.
  3. Retain Business–  It tends to be more expensive to get a new customer than it is to retain the customers that you have, so it is important to nurture the relationships that you have with your current customers to make sure that you keep their business.  Some relationship marketing strategies to retain business include, showing appreciation for their business by sending “Thank You” cards, making follow-up calls to make sure they are satisfied with the service they have received or are receiving from your company, providing an excellent customer experience.  The customer experience includes pre-purchase, during purchasing, and post purchase.  How are you making sure that each step is a good encounter for your customer?

Are you using Relationship Marketing strategies to retain business and get repeat and referral business?  What are some other relationship marketing strategies you can use to grow your business?

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How to Grow Your Business with Relationship Marketing

Posted on September 10, 2014. Filed under: Blog, Business, Business Development, Business Events, Email Marketing, Event Marketing, Marketing, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Blog Image- September 2014
Dictionary.com defines a relationship as a connection, association, or involvement.  It also defines marketing as the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer.  

My definition of Relationship Marketing is the activities involved in building a greater connection with your clients, prospects and partners.  This strong connection often leads to the sale of products or services, and also increases loyalty to your brand or company.

With that said, Relationship Marketing is a key part of your overall marketing strategy, and should occur both online and offline.

In this blog post I will mention a few activities that you should include in your Relationship Marketing:

ONLINE

In order to build a connection online with your clients, prospects, and partners, it is important to have an online presence.  Included in your online presence should be the following activities:

  • A Company Blog–  In addition to having a company website, a company blog can help to build the relationship that you have with your audience, because a blog allows you to show your expertise, knowledge and personality in ways that a website alone does not accomplish.  The key to a successful business blog is:
    1. It should be updated frequently
    2. It should contain valuable content relevant to your audience
    3. It should showcase the personality of your brand
  • A Social Media Presence–  It’s not necessary to be on all the popular social networks out there, but it is beneficially for your company to be on social networks that have a high percentage of your target market, and networks that will showcase your business well.  Social Networks are a great way to strength your connection with your clients, prospects, and partners because it allows you to create a conversation around your company, industry, products, services, values, beliefs, etc.  The key to a successful social media presence is:
    1. Know your audience
    2. Post content that is interesting to your audience
    3. Create conversations
  • An E-Newsletter or EZine–  An email publication that your company produces is a great way to strengthen the connection that you have with customers, prospects and partners.  It is a great way for your audience to get to know you and get to know what your company stands for.  The key to a successful E-Newletter is:
    1. Know your audience
    2. Give valuable information in each ezine
    3. Provide 80% valuable content and only 20% company promotions

OFFLINE

  • Events–  Plan events to show appreciation for your customers and partners.  Taking the time to host these events can build a strong connection with you and your customers and partners.  It also helps to solidify their loyalty to your company.  You can also have events to introduce your prospects to your business or your brand.  Grand Openings, Launch Parties, etc. are all great ways for people to get to know more about you, your company, and your brand.
  • One-on-One Meetings–  When possible, schedule one-on-one meetings with your clients, prospects and partners.  This is a great way to build a strong connection, and for people to get to know, like and trust you.
  • Send Cards–  It is important to send your customers, prospects and partners cards on various occasions.  This could include birthdays, anniversary, Thank You for Your Business, Thank You for Your Time, Happy Holiday cards and more.   Taking the time out to send your customers, prospects and partners cards really helps to create loyalty and build trust.

These are just a few ways you can use Relationship Marketing to GROW your business.  What other ways can you think of in which you can use Relationship Marketing to grow your business?

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7 Surprising Ways to Get Repeat and Referral Business

Posted on April 7, 2014. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Business Events, Event Marketing, Marketing, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , , , |

It is a fact that one of the best ways to grow your business is by building the relationship that you have with your current customers.  Most small businesses overlook this fact and concentrate on new customers and new business, but don’t neglect your existing customers because they can really help you grow your business.

In this blog post, I will cover 7 surprising ways you can get repeat and referral business from your current customers:

  1. SendOutCards-HappyBirthdaySend your customers a birthday card.  Yes, I am talking the old fashioned in the snail mail birthday card.  Now a days, so few people take the time to send family, friends and customers physical cards that it would be a welcome surprise for your customer to receive a card from you.  Depending on the size of your customer database, this could be an expensive undertaking, so I suggest if you cannot send a birthday card to every customer, make sure that you send one to your most loyal and repeat customers.  It’s a great way to show that you care about your customers, and it’s a great opportunity to add a special offer for additional products or services.  I get a birthday card and a $10 off gift card from a popular women’s apparel store every year, and most of the time I go in the store to use my gift card.  I am pretty sure this strategy is working for this retail store because I continue to get a card every year.
  2. Send your customers an anniversary card.  You should have the date that your client started using your services on file, so wouldn’t it be great if you sent an anniversary card close to the anniversary date?  It is a great way to stay top of mind, and to stand out in your client’s mind.  An auto dealership used this strategy and sent out anniversary cards to all customers who had purchased a vehicle from the dealership each month.  The card included a discount to use their auto parts & service department.  It was a great way to strengthen the relationship with the customer and get them to come in for additional services.
  3. SendOutCards-ThankYouSend your customer a “Thank You for Your Business” card.  Whenever you close a deal or get a new account, it is the start of a new business relationship.  Why not show your customers how much you appreciate this new relationship and send a thank you for your business card.  You will be surprised how this can make you stand out as a business and strengthen the new business relationship.  Paying attention to the little details also makes customers more encouraged to send referral business to you because they know you will treat the person who they refer with as much care as you have treated them.
  4. Send your potential customer a “Thank You for Your Time” card. Sometimes you may not get the business on the first appointment.  That’s why it is important to follow-up with the prospect with a card thanking her for her time.  This will allow you to stand out and when the customer is ready to make a purchase because you took this additional step, your chances of being the one to get the business is much higher.
  5. SendOutCardsSend your customers holiday cards.  Whether it is one of the popular holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, Independence Day, or one of those less popular holidays like President’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, etc.  take the time to send your customers a holiday card for the holidays that you feel would be appropriate.  I know I have said this before, but people just don’t get a lot of cards anymore, so receiving a card from your company on a special holiday can really make your company shine!
  6. Send a customer a life milestone card.  Sometimes you may know of a special event that occurred in your customer’s life, like the birth of a grandchild, or the graduation of a child, or an engagement or marriage.  Whatever the special occasion may be, sending a nice card to your customer to recognize the milestone is  great way to build the business relationship and for you to stand out as someone who cares about your customers.
  7. Send your customers a special invitation to an upcoming promotional event.  Having consistent events to promote your business is always a smart thing to do, but making sure you send a special invitation to your VIPs, loyal, or repeat customers is sometimes overlooked.  Receiving an email about an event can sometimes get lost in the shuffle, so sending an invitation via the mail can help your event to stand out and will keep your company and the event top of mind for your customers.

You will notice that the common element for each one of these tips is to send a card!  A great system to use to automate the sending of cards and gifts for your clients is SendOutCards.  SendOutCards is an online system that allows you to select a card, customize the card, add the contact information for the recipient or upload a list of contacts, and hit send.  The card will then be printed, stuffed, and mailed to the recipient(s) all by the click of your mouse.  In addition, you’re able to keep track of all the cards and gifts that you send because the system keeps a record of everything for you.

For more information go to www.SendOutCards.com  If you decide that you want to use the system to send your cards and gifts, you can use id#155454 to join.

 

 

 

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Top 3 Ways to Get More Business

Posted on November 4, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Marketing | Tags: , , , , , , |

Business Referral Image

If you own a small business (or any sized business for that matter), you’re always looking for ways to get more business.  Most companies look for NEW business and neglect their most important source of more business……  CURRENT customers.

Here are three ways to get more business from your CURRENT customers.

  1. RELATIONSHIP MARKETING–  There are several definitions of what Relationship Marketing is, but for me it means creating a long lasting relationship with your CURRENT clients in order to get additional business in the future.  There are many ways that you can use this marketing technique, both online and offline, but no matter what channel you use, the goal of Relationship Marketing is to continue to develop a relationship with your customers beyond the first purchase.  This could include showing your gratitude for their business by sending a “Thank You” card, remembering important dates like the anniversary date of services received by your company, sending a birthday card, sending holiday emails, etc. Each time you connect with your customers it keeps your service top of mind, and it builds the know, like and trust factor for your company.
  2. REWARDS PROGRAM–  Are you rewarding your customers for choosing your company?  Rewards and loyalty programs are super popular now.  Many credit card companies offer rewards programs to ensure repeat business and to keep their customers loyal to their credit card.  The same type of rewards program can be applied to any industry.  The goal of a rewards program is to encourage loyalty, get repeat business, and to keep your service or product top of mind with your CURRENT customers.
  3. REFERRAL PROGRAM–  Are you currently offering your clients an incentive for referring someone to you?  This really is a no brainer technique.  If you have customers who already know, like and trust your company use that to your advantage by asking them to refer their friends and family for your services.  People like to do business with companies that a trusted friend or family has referred them to, so it is almost guaranteed business for you.  The goal is to get your current customers to send you more business in the form of a referral by offering some type of incentive for the referral.

What ways do you use to get more business from your existing customers?

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