Regular Contact complemented by Education…
The desired position for anyone is an Advocate that is also a client. The more of these you have the more stability and profitable your business will be. Within all relationships there is two dynamics that play out and each is responsible for building a different aspect of the relationship.
To move individuals from a prospect to an advocate requires that regular contact be made. This contact will normally be quite intense during the initial stage of the relationship the important thing is that either party may end the relationship at any stage. If the initial contacts result in a mutually desirable outcome (or potential of) then an ongoing contact may result. The important thing is that regular contact will eventually result in the person moving up the loyalty ladder.
To ensure that you are building the emotional side of the relationship requires an additional dynamic to be present… Education. This is essential in any relationship, without education the onus is on the person to become educated about who you are and what you do. The challenge is that human beings naturally see only a perception of reality. This leaves plenty of room for miscommunication, unrealistic expectations, and confusion. Once a person feels any of these things they are more likely to stay with the norm or worst still make no decision.
By providing consistent, nurturous, and respectful education we allow our prospects and clients to know who we are and what we do. The communication should be open, honest so a much higher level of relationship results. On top of this you no longer need to sell each person your product or service, they become so highly educated that they realise their own needs and purchase to solve their needs. No longer do you need to sell them.
Building the ideal relationship…
You know that you have built the ideal relationship when an existing or potential client thinks of your product or service…they immediately think of you!
Ask yourself honestly how many of your clients would do this, and you may discover that you need to do a little more work on improving some of your relationships.
The essence of Relationship Marketing in helping you build the ideal relationship, it’s foundation is built on integrity, honesty, openness, trust and mutually profitable exchange. Relationship Marketing simply consists of one individual communicating with another individual…regardless of their company or position.
When you build your business using Relationship Marketing, you develop a referral-based business by becoming a trusted advisor, confidant and friend to your client.
This process forms the basis of two very powerful questions to keep in mind anytime you’re working on the development of your business. First ask yourself, “Is this action positioning me as a trusted advisor?” and then, “Am I building a referral-based business by what I am doing?”
If you can’t answer yes to these two questions, you should immediately stop what you are doing and consider another course of action that will help you achieve your desired outcome…building the ideal relationship!
Live with passion,
Networking is a highly underrated form of marketing. It is perhaps the best way to tap into an unlimited source of potential business. We have all seen good networkers, those people that seem to know people everywhere they go. Normally it is not that these people have any special talents but they make themselves known. This is fundamental to a networker.
“To not only show up but to be seen to show up.”
If you can achieve this one outcome before long wherever you go you will be known.
From this basis you then need to develop the next part that is to be known for something. If you can be known as the person who does this or that and more importantly this or that well then you will create a huge amount of interest.
‘Successful networking is not about how many people you know but how many people know you, and what they know you for…’
Steps to successful networking
1. Contacting Your Existing Network.
Make a list of everyone you know and how they may be able to provide you leads. Then decide how you can create a win-win situation with them. Over time you will expand your sphere of influence and the referrals will begin coming in. Commit some time each week to call these people. Discipline is the key.
You do not have to go into a full proposal while networking, it could be as simple as lets have coffee and catch up. During coffee you will of course explain what you do and why you are different from everybody else.
2. Making New Networks.
Once you have exhausted all the people you know you will have to get to know more people. This is where networking becomes truly fun.
The best way to do this is commit some more time each week. It may be some time in the morning once a week for a breakfast, some time during the day for a lunch, and some time during the night for an evening seminar. Remember Discipline is everything. You will not create a huge network by going to one function a month.
Be sure to have your business cards on you at all times. Always exchange a business card or at least record their phone number into your phone memory if they do not have a card.
Remember the idea of the function is not to sit and talk with the same group throughout the function. You must create a mission to meet as many in the room as possible or collect a specified number of cards over the course of the function.
Always set a goal for the number of cards you will get. Work the room, shaking hands and offering a business card to everyone you meet.
Remember the idea of networking is to be known for something… Keep this in mind; the other attendees do not need your life story. Keep discussion on other matter short and sweet and then move on to the next person. Obtain their contact details, let them know what you do and who you are, leave a positive impression and move on.
The Key to Networking is Follow Up…
Don’t worry if you feel you don’t know the people you are meeting very well. The key to networking is ‘Follow-Up’.
Once the function is over, be sure to send a postcard saying ‘Thanks’ within 24 hours to those who supplied relevant information. This is important. If you fail to do this you might as well forget the functions.
Once you have sent the postcard you will follow up with a call about 3 days later.
This simple process is guaranteed to make an impression because the other attendees they meet will almost always fail to follow up.
This aspect of our strategy is what will set us apart from any competition.
Live with passion,
Personal Notes or Postscripts (PS’s) are the most effective way to ensure that you relate your message across and your letter/email is read, they also personalise the letter/email to the readers needs…
Personal notes can speak about anything. They do not necessarily have to be about the letter/email unless you are selling something in the letter/email then you must remain focussed.
Let’s get really personal…
At the end of the day, it’s not just what you say that’s important to the person who receives your message, it’s the fact that you’re showing that you care.
Although the content of your letters and emails may seem to be the most important part of the communication process to you, at a deeper level, the person you write to will feel most strongly about the personal contact you make.
This is why a hand written ‘PS’ or personal note is always the most important part of any letter or email, it adds enticement and intrigue to the readers needs and desire to solve their problems.
If you think back over your own experiences, it’s the personal contact that usually stands out in your memory, and has the most powerful effect on how you feel about the person writing to you.
There are lots of ways you can personalise your communication. Consider the content of the letter/email and feel free to highlight areas that may be particularly relevant to your client. You can add comments on past conversations, current matters, planned future events, and possible solutions to problems you know may be effecting them or having an impact on their lives.
Of course, what you write to your clients must be significant to them and appropriate to your level of relationship, but ultimately, it will be the personal touches that will make the real difference.
With a little thought and effort you can make your letter/email really special, important and memorable for your client.
Live with passion,