Relationship Marketing: The Most Overlooked Skill
This is relationship marketing: Everything is out there in the open regarding social networks like Facebook, Instagram, etc. People are being much more relaxed and consumers are sharing large amounts of information about themselves online. As a network marketer, you can use creative and respectful ways to reach out, create new relationships, and deepen existing ones.
Network Marketers can use these platforms to develop new relationships with prospects, customers and potential business partners.
Relationship Marketing Explained
The essence of relationship marketing is a personal or emotional connection to a brand (business or company). This connection is centred on the trust created through consistently delivering a product or service that meets or exceeds customer expectations.
For most of you, this term is probably pretty familiar. But, from the beginning, a relationship marketing emphasis meant brands recognized the need to move beyond a series of just sales.
Ask yourself this; Where is the last place you shopped?
Perhaps it was someone online because you needed melts for your candle warmers – did you seek out someone you already knew? Take a recommendation from a Facebook Post you may have put up? Or did you go to the website and pick someone random?
How about the grocery store? You shop there weekly – no lineups, three cashiers open. Do you choose the one who moves the quickest and packs your bags the way you like? Or do you go to the closest one?
Let’s talk about your barber or hairdresser for a moment. Do you visit the same one over and over? Or, do you go wherever you can? Does your hairdresser know all about your family, children, pets, and last vacation?
My point is that you developed a relationship with those people somewhere along the way. You trust them to buy candles from, they will pack your bags the way you like, and you trust them with scissors to your head. These are all prime examples of where relationship marketing exists in your life every day.
So knowing this, why is it so overlooked in an industry that we are introduced to as a ‘relationship marketing opportunity?!
How Profitable is this Strategy?
When a business, in this case, you, implements an effective relationship marketing strategy, it becomes more profitable—since the focus shifts from constantly trying to acquire new customers to understand more about the behaviors, wants, and needs of existing customers and markets.
Through relationship marketing, a network marketer aims to create a relationship or comfort zone with a prospect that doesn’t seek a ‘one-off sale.’
The aim is to make lifetime business relationships.
- Relationship marketing aims at delivering value to the customers even beyond their sales opportunities
- In layman’s terms, it is here that you take your customers as the main aim
It may be like seeing your customer as your friend and talking to him, listening to him and solving his problems even if it’s beyond your product scope.
Do you see how powerful that can be?
Where does Relationship Marketing Start?
To best serve the customer or prospect, you need to know who they are.
Only after the initial ‘knowing’ can you think of ways that aim to serve the person better. For this, get on social media (if you’re not already). Social media marketing is an essential step in knowing who your audience is.
Because, whether they realize it or not – their profile will often tell you all you need to know as a starting point.
You could know the basics about who your audience is by analyzing your product (and you should). For example, find your business prospects on Facebook if your product is related to women.
So, you meet someone on Facebook – share some common interests, the conversation is going well, now what? Do you jump into your company pitch? Talk about something you are not even so sure about yet. Verbally vomit all over them? NO!
Cliche warning. People buy from others they know, like and trust.
Do you expect someone to buy from you when you are having a real conversation in one moment, and suddenly you become an infomercial?
I mean, would you? Of course not.
This person connected with you for reasons completely unrelated to your business. They may not even know you have one! So please do yourself a favor, set the company aside for a moment, and get to know them.
People will tell you everything you need to know to cultivate a sale or partnership later, but quit rushing the process.
Think back to the last time you received an inbox message from someone you didn’t know but had a link attached. Did you buy whatever they were selling? No, of course, you didn’t. So why do we think it’s OK to do the same with our opportunities?
This happens because people become attached to the sale instead of the person.
Stay true to who you are and let things happen naturally.
Keep in mind that I am not suggesting you have hour-long conversations with people – but a couple of minutes here and there can make all the difference in the world.
Significantly, your Facebook Timeline, for example, will help keep those same people engaged. If you dismiss someone after a limited interaction – or they ignore you because of your in-your-face sales, the rest of your efforts go unused.
Be intentional about how you can potentially help, serve and impact every person—not finding ways to sell, convince or mislead someone. Be a human, not a robot. People will never forget how you make them feel – so make them feel good, and they want to come back and share more conversations with you.
This leads me perfectly to my next tip!
Communication and its Role in Relationship Marketing
I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that communication plays a pivotal role in relationship marketing. The first sign that your communication might be in trouble is when both parties aren’t contributing to the conversation.
Remember above where I mentioned ‘word vomit?
This is typically where the customer or prospect starts to tune you out.
They might suddenly remember ‘something’ they had to do or cut you off.
Effective communication is a two-way street.
Now I need to clear a couple of things up. First, in recent posts, I talk about the process of using FORM. And, I think where it’s possible helps create a fantastic outline instead of people diving right into that strategy without even having a conversation.
FORM should not be used as your checklist but as a guide to places you want to take a conversation when it fits best.
If it feels forced in your conversation, it is not the right time. So, learn the strategy, sure, but there are appropriate times to use it and times it needs to stay locked away.
Communication should be ongoing. It is part of the relationship marketing focus that needs to continue, be nurtured, revisited, and so on—the chances of having one conversation and converting to sales or otherwise are unlikely.
Not impossible, but unlikely and certainly not duplicable.
Let’s Talk About Attraction Marketing
Let’s go back to the person you had that first conversation with. Perhaps you met through a mutual interest group, and you’ve been chatting positively for a week now. Your timeline, however, is filled with negativity.
Are you likely to continue fostering that relationship, or is it more likely that the ‘prospect’ will slowly become less interested?
Or, on a positive note …
Let’s say you have been posting about your health journey. You aren’t mentioning any products or services – you are simply sharing your journey. For example, you might talk about how much better you feel, more energy, etc. Perhaps you share a weight loss milestone or a new weight lifting at the gym, or you could be showing off in your new bathing suit!
Whatever it is, you are likely attracting people to a few things;
- Your journey, authenticity
- Your results
- Piqued interest
Chances are, you will resonate with someone. People out there are looking for what you have shown them is possible. And, you’ve done so without being an infomercial.
The best part about attraction marketing (when used effectively) is attracting the people you are looking for. Become the hunted versus the hunter. Because, from the attraction, you can connect, build and foster relationships.
Conversations on Social Media
What we found with many of our clients when we broke down their ‘productive’ social media time was this; Too many were caught on the web simply scrolling the newsfeed.
If we’re being honest, that can be a dangerous rabbit hole some days! So the suggestion was to have more conversations. Be intentional while spending time on Facebook (or other platforms). See a post you like? GREAT! Drop a like or a comment, and go as far as messaging the person to say, ‘hey, I loved your post on …’
You just opened up what would have been a cold conversation.
And they led you right to it!
Whether you are building your business full-time or part-time, the strategy of having more conversations will help you boost sales and become more profitable before you know it.
And I found that my success continued to grow with the more time I spent in my inbox versus the newsfeed. My relationships became more meaningful. What’s your experience with inbox conversations? Are they happening enough?
I would encourage you to spend more time in this area of social media than anywhere else. The key is building up ongoing conversations with new people all the time.
Keep ‘filling that funnel,’ ‘planting those seeds.
These conversations will help you build trust with people. This trust is what will fuel your business. Culturally, ethically, financially, and everything else!
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