So tell me, when you contact a business looking for help, do you like it when you get a canned automatic reply? Sometimes technology goes too far and you feel like you are dealing with robots. Despite the fact that you can tweet, snap, insta and message your customers, you also need to take the time to build a proper relationship with them. No selling strategy is complete without a relationship based aspect.
Don’t get me wrong, it is incredibly important to maintain a digital presence. Without this, you will not be able to compete on the same stage as your competitors. What I am really saying is that digital marketing needs to be a component of your overall strategy, not your whole strategy.
Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your potential and existing customer base. You can get your business front of the right people at the right time for a relatively low cost.
But just because digital is the go to medium, don’t lose sight of the need for human interaction.
What is a relationship selling strategy?
When I say relationship, I don’t mean dating your customers! But it is a little bit like courting them, taking the time to have real human interactions and connecting with them to take the relationship further.
Getting in front of your customers on a face to face basis will start that relationship building process. Show your customers that you care about them and respect them by meeting them in person. Meet them at their office, take them out for coffee or lunch, and take the time to discuss their business goals and needs.
Why a relationship selling strategy?
There are some really compelling reasons to get off that computer and in front of your customers. They are…
Emails can so easily be deleted, phone calls can be screened, and don’t even get me started on social media messaging! These cursory communication methods can only do so much when trying to build a relationship with your customers.
Taking the time to meet in person gives them a face and a person to associate with your business. They can see who you are and what your business stands for. You will also show them that you respect them because you have made the effort to meet. This presents a really positive image for your brand and establishes a relationship of trust with your customer.
Because you have taken the time to discuss their individual business needs in person, you will have a greater understanding of their pain points. Knowing this will allow your business to be the solution to their problem, encouraging the customer to buy from you.
A happy customer is also a customer who will part with their cash. So if appropriate, you might be able to upsell them into other products or services. Happiness builds loyalty, so they will potentially become repeat customers too.
Build Raving Fans
Word of mouth referrals are absolute gold for your business, and they are far easier to generate in person than online. If you can turn your customers into raving fans, then you will effectively be recruiting your best salespeople. The word of a happy customer can speak in louder volumes than anything you can say directly to a new prospect.
Now I am not saying that you should rely on a relationship selling techniques for your whole sales strategy. But combined with a digital strategy, this tactic can be a powerful one to grow your business.