Relationship Marketing, is a facet of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) that focuses on customer loyalty and long-term customer engagement rather than short-term goals like customer acquisition and individual sales.
The rule I use and teach for relationship marketing is 80% building relationships, and 20% marketing. That means in every interaction you have with your customer or client….80% of your interactions should be relationship building. If you are always just trying to *sell* your customer, then all they think, is they are a dollar sign to you. When you are building relationships with them, that creates a strong, and even an emotional connection to them, that leads to repeat business and even referrals (without you having to ask for them!)
When you connect with your customers and clients on social media, (facebook, linked in, Instagram, etc) it can help you easily to monitor and respond to customer issues if you have a business presence, as well as you can connect with them on a more personal level if you have a personal account. For example, connecting on a personal level, as you see one of your clients, their child wins a soccer game and they post pictures about it….you can download those pictures, create them into a card, and send the card to the child, telling them what a great job they did. How do you think that is going to make the parents feel about you? Do you think it might seal that connection with you, just a little more on a personal level? Of course it will! You do that here and there on occasion, as well as doing good business, ethics etc, you are going to have your customers become your raving fans, and giving you referrals without even asking.
When you connect with the emotional side of your clients, especially in a positive way, that is the key to a long-term, happy relationship. And as Tom Hopkins says, “People do business, with those they know, like and trust”. They also refer others as well, and the ones they remember best, are the ones that are connecting with them often. They say that you lose 10% influence with a client for every month that you do not keep in touch with a client. So it is important to have a monthly *touch* with your clients…this can be in a variety of ways, text, email, phone calls, in person, greeting cards, gifts, and more…..Just make sure you follow the 80% building the relationship, and only 20% sales and marketing – and you will see the difference.