By Holly Reisem Hanna
One of the most frequent questions that I receive from new business owners and direct sales consultants is, “how do I get more clients”? While there are a variety of ways to go about it (cold calling, content marketing, direct mail, attending networking events, social media, advertising …) I have found that one technique stands out above the rest.
Do you want to know what it is?
It's really very simple …
It's called Relationship Marketing and it's where you focus on building and cultivating relationships. I know, you were hoping for some magic formula that would bring in tons of new clients and customers overnight, but the truth is, until you focus on the relationship and build up trust, you will struggle with finding and keeping clients.
Let me tell you a little story to illustrate my point.
Back in the fall of 2011 when I launched my eBook, I partnered with two different websites that each had a women-centric focus. One had a large list consisting of 25,000 subscribers and the other a much smaller list consisting of just 2,000 subscribers. The same copy was given to both sites and while I thought I would receive a ton of sales from the bigger list, only two sales were generated. However, the much smaller list rocked it, bringing in a ton of sales.
What was the difference between the two lists?
You could argue that the smaller list had a more targeted audience, but as I follow both sites on social media, receive both of their newsletters, and frequent each of their sites, I can tell you that that main difference is how they interact with their readers. The smaller publisher is much more personal and interactive with her audience. And from these clearly visible interactions, the smaller publisher has built up a trust and a more intimate relationship with her audience, that the other has not achieved.
So how do you go about relationship marketing so that you can find more clients and make more money?
Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Get Personal
This should be such an easy step to achieve, yet so many individuals struggle with this, from not knowing how to interact on social media to troubles finding their voice via their blog posts. The key is to be yourself and let your uniqueness shine through. You may not think that people want to hear about your kids or love of cooking, but letting them in on the little details allows for them to connect with you on a more personal level. Of course, a big part of this is showing interest in what others are doing – so ask questions, get to know your audience and show that you care.
2. Be Helpful
Being helpful doesn't have to take a lot of time, it can be as simple as making a referral or virtual introduction, answering a question, showing appreciation, listening or offering a word of kindness. There are moments in each and every day that you can make a positive impact on someone's life – take the time to nurture these moments, your kindness and generosity will be remembered and ultimately paid forward.
3. Give Great Customer Service
Maybe it's all of the years that I waited tables, but I love when I get great customer service, and when individuals go that extra mile, they have won me over as a loyal patron for life. Conversely, give me bad customer service and you're in big trouble. Not only I will NOT shop with you again, but I will tell my friends and family about the awful experience that I had, and I may even take the time to write a negative review on Yelp. Need ideas on how to give good customer service? Here are 15 ways to rock your business with great customer service.
4. Add Value
With your blogging, newsletters and social media interactions, you need to be offering value to your audience. Not every update, post, and mailing should be about your business, and what you're selling, it needs to be more about giving back, offering tips and helpful information. Once you have mastered the art of adding value to your community, others will recommend it because of what you have to offer. Need a formula for success? Try this recipe: 20% self-promotion, 70% conversation and sharing of other's content and 10% experimentation.
5. Maintain the Relationship
Once you have laid the initial groundwork, you need to be consistent and continue to interact and cultivate relationships. If you followed all of the steps above, you should be good to go and on your way to more clients and referrals. Remember there is no magic pill for getting more clients and increasing sales – hard work, persistence and maintaining relationships will be the keys to your success.
What tips do you have for getting clients? Have you found that relationship marketing is your most fruitful way of bringing in new clients?