Build Relationships First And The Sales Will Come…

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Social network conceptHave you noticed that the winner of reality TV shows like X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent is often the most likeable?

And this works in business too. In fact, I’d argue without the likeability factor, it’s going to be very tricky to find and keep enough customers to make your business the success you desire. And the reason is simple. It’s natural to feel more affinity to people you have rapport with. It means, given a choice, your target customer will usually choose the business they feel closest to.

So, in addition to using words to promote your products and services, it’s wise to create relationships. If you don’t, you risk being perceived as just another “rather annoying and not very interesting” sales person. BUT if you position yourself as a likeable, trusted authority, the quality of your conversations will transform.

Your website is a good place to lay the foundations. Figure out how you can be helpful and develop your website so it becomes a destination for your target customer to find answers to their questions. Regular blogging can work well for this. Not only will your content tempt visitors to stick around, but you’ll also start to establish credibility and authority – both crucial in the relationships stakes.

Once you’ve demonstrated your expertise, the next step is to persuade website visitors to share their email address and join your database. You’ll need a juicy incentive for this such as a free eBook or subscription to a printed newsletter.

Then, armed with contact details, you can nurture your fledgling relationship through targeted email campaigns, auto responders and even direct mail.  But remember to get the balance right. Don’t pounce with the “sell sell” approach too soon – or you’ll turn people off. Instead continue to build rapport by sharing your personality and experience through stories, relevant content and helpful advice. This will increase the chances of getting your content read, and you can weave sales messages into the mix at appropriate times.

The beauty of relationship building is it addresses a big sales problem. In reality most customers are not ready to buy the first time they encounter you. Primarily because they don’t know, like or trust you enough. BUT, if you stay in touch with useful, regular, interesting content, when the time’s right, who will they call?

I believe effective communication is at the heart of all relationship building. Just look at how reality shows use the human story to capture our attention and build connection. It’s proof that saying the right things in the right way at the right time can help you attract fresh leads and create delighted customers who’ll just love coming back.

So commit to you relationship-building mission today.

Create a strategy, put in the upfront work and then reap the benefits as those sales flow 🙂

micro business actionToday’s Micro Action

Pinpoint three things you could do today to help you build relationships with your customers, and then plan to implement the strategy and help your micro business grow.