To succeed in sales and marketing, you need to focus on long term goals.
That’s a fact.
Take your usual short term approaches (like a week long marketing campaign) and place them in a cobwebbed corner filled with other outdated ideas. The time for “quick solutions” has passed.
Going forward, it’s necessary to shift your mindset to a forward-thinking approach.
You’re in it for the long haul. Your marketing approach should reflect the same.
Relationship marketing is the way to go.
What is Relationship Marketing?
Relationship marketing focuses on building and maintaining relationships to stay top of mind and increase new business opportunities and referrals. Statistics tell us that the average agency receives 14% of their business from repeat clients, and 18% of their business from referrals, effective relationship marketing is the key to taking your business to the next level.
If you nurture your relationships properly, your clients will recommend your services to their family and friends. They, in turn, will recommend you to THEIR friends and family, and so on. In effect, that means the more relationships you can leverage the more deals you’ll close, the more deals you close, the more relationships you can leverage. If you keep closing the loop and growing your circle, your business will grow exponentially.
Not All Relationships Are the Same
Your relationships need to be nurtured differently in order to grow. For example, you may want to reach out to all your warm leads at least once a week, but only reach out to your cold leads or former clients once a month.
If you want to see your relationships flourish, you need a balanced relationship strategy that organizes your leads into unique categories that require unique relationship marketing strategies. This is a process called segmentation.
In order to segment your relationships properly, you’re going to need CRM software that prioritizes relationship marketing.
You Can’t Rely on Your Charm
While many people assume that effectively leveraging relationships is a matter of charisma or charm, in reality, the agents that see the best results stick to rigorous schedules and processes. After all, charisma might work with your circle of friends or romantic relationships, but in order to succeed in making sales you need to reach a much wider audience.
In order to do this efficiently and regularly enough to grow your business, you need a solid gameplan. That means staying highly organized, having great content (think emails and phone scripts), solid processes to keep you on the right path, consistent follow-up to stay top of mind, and enough high level data to glean insights from your performance.
Be Prompt and Honest
Research indicates that:
48% of customer enquiries are never responded to, and;
The average response time is 15.29 hours for those who do respond.
Your lack of response will always be your competitor’s opportunity. In fact, 49% of customers expect an instant (or close to instant) response when they make an enquiry, so a slow response can indicate poor systems or indifference to the prospect.
Even if you’re nailing the quick initial response, that’s just the first step to developing a trusting relationship. Your follow-through whenever you say you will is going to be just as important. The client wants an agent who is there and responds when they say they will.
Being open and forthright are also qualities that help to engender trust as you build relationships with the prospect. Don’t just tell them what they want to hear; have honest conversations with them about realistic expectations, and provide them with the information they need to know.
Being a reliable source of information is actually a huge trust-builder. Giving information freely is a great strategy. It lets the customer know that you are willing to help without making them feel pushed to make a decision to go with her.
Relationship marketing is about building trust and developing open communication. This begins with truly embracing the idea of “being there.”
Technology provides us with some great options for keeping in touch with people, but being seen in person is also very important for providing the “human” touch. Your client does prefer to interact with a human, rather than a screen.
Find more opportunities to build community networks and interact with potential prospects in no-pressure environments. Follow up regularly and just be useful. It’s these human interactions that lead to better business later on.