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How Relationship Marketing is Done Right From J. Schuh

Rocks Digital 2018

I have been doing marketing for 20 years but at the heart of it, for me, it has been about people. Do people have problems today? Of course, they do. The question businesses should ask is “How can I have a better relationship with the people I market to?”

How To Start Relationship Marketing

Professional relationships – Were you able to make a connection to a person that you really wanted to meet when you were at a convention? Now that you are LinkedIn friends, now what?

Customer relationships – It is more expensive to get new customers than keeping old ones. What happens when your whole relationship with your customers is based on price? The relationship with your customers does not last. We are in a fast-changing marketplace and the key is trust.

Other relationships in your life – Think about the person you trust most. What is it about that relationship that makes you love that person the most? Sense of security? Do they have all the money? Or is it that we can mess up and that person will still want to deal with us? When we have a bad day, trust can help to maintain that relationship.

A relationship built on trust and authenticity allows for mistakes without harming the relationship. For example: How many versions of the light bulb did Edison come up with? 10,000! How many times can we mess up at work to get to a point where we worry if we are going to be able to come in to work tomorrow?

To Have A Relationship With Your Customers, You Have To Focus On Authenticity

The thing about trust, you have to be real or authentic about it. Being who you are is the key ingredient to being successful.

How many today are in a serious relationship or married? I am going to tell you a story about my wife (she is not here).

An Example of Authentic Trust

My wife is sitting in the living room, and I can tell she is upset with me. She is doing a lot of sighing. Ultimately, I get her to tell me that she is really upset with me because I have not figured out what she wants. I ask her what she wants, and she says, “I don’t know.”

You’re mad at me because I don’t know what you want even though YOU don’t know what you want???

Isn’t that the way with many of our customers?

When you are in an authentic relationship with your customers you can try out different things with your customers to help them understand what they want.

The Only Relationship That Lasts is a Win/Win Relationship

Those who are in long-lasting relationships are in win/win relationships but that does not mean they are happy all the time. Authentic relationships can stand the strain of differences and disagreements. The same is true with your relationship with your customers.

The Key is Authenticity, Relationships and Building Trust

An example is that one of my clients told me that their customers were angry with them because they wanted to get more engaged with my client’s brand.

Customers make complaints because they care. And that is how you know it is something that you can work on to get to common ground. It is all about getting to win/win.

You get to a win/win relationship by thinking of your customers first. That is not easy to do because usually, most businesses are putting their OWN goals first.

Develop a relationship marketing plan. If you are just answering emails and replying to comments, you are just reacting. When you make a plan you are working with your customers to better the relationship.

Are you hanging out with people that you do not have a future with? An example would be using the stages of divorce.

When do people get divorced? If it happens after 2 years, it was probably your “trial marriage.” You wanted to see what marriage was like, you didn’t like it, and you got out.

For those who divorced at 7 years, they usually had kids and then got bored with the relationship and wanted to end it.

If divorce happens after 20 years, they wake up one day and realize “The kids are gone, I still have life in me, and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Trust – Building a Relationship with Millennials

When you talk about trust to millennials, they think of it as an absolute. They do not have a range of trust. For others, there usually is a range.

Only 19% of millennials polled said that they trusted big business. Only 18% of millennials in high school still trust people. One of the fastest-growing groups of people that we will be doing business with is millennials.

I teach school, and I get a new crop of people each semester. I like millennials. They want to learn and are willing to give you a break if you mess up, and they are authentic.

I had a millennial boss and it was a great experience. However, one time I was discussing a project with another co-worker and copied my millennial boss on our emails. I needed to get a picture of something from my co-worker and asked her to send me a pic. My millennial boss called me into his office and told me I couldn’t do that kind of thing. I learned that asking someone for a pic, means you are asking someone to send you naughty pictures of them. I was pretty sure my co-worker understood what type of picture I needed due to the context of the conversation, but my millennial boss took things out of context.

Just remember, with millennials either they trust you, or they don’t.

Using these examples and tips you can create a relationship marketing strategy that will build trust and grow a relationship with your customers. This will ultimately grow the business and the bottom line.

Edgar Griggs

Edgar Griggs loves to learn about new technologies and high tech gadgets! You’ll find him at local events around the DFW Metroplex and sometimes blogging for websites like The Interestingly Cool Stuff Blog and his TrendHunter page at TrendHunter.com/CoolTrends!

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