Relationship Marketing Online
You should be thinking of your customers as long-term clients, not just one time sales. When you work hard at forming good relationships with them, you’ll find they come back and buy from you again and again.
Remember this: It’s much easier to sell to an existing client then to find a new one. It’s also less expensive. Another “perk” of making them happy is they’ll refer their friends and associates to you, which is great for business. Referrals are like a “personal endorsement” of your work. By the time a referral calls you, he’s already partially sold on using your products or services. In essence the referral has given your company the “stamp of approval.”
So how do you go about forming relationships with clients? Well, first of all you need to care about their wants and needs — not appear to care, but really care. In our rush-rush hurry-up society, personalized care is hard to find. If you care, you’ll stand out from the crowd and be remembered in your customer’s mind when he needs another service or product like yours in the future. The point is to establish long term bonds with them.
There are a variety of things you can easily incorporate into your “relationship marketing plan” on a daily basis:
1) After finishing a job for a client, always “hand write” a thank you card stating how much you appreciate their business.
2) Keep your eyes open when online for anything that may interest or affect your customer’s business. Send them a quick e-mail with the URL or send the page itself. It only takes a minute but really shows you care.
3) When you find a newspaper or magazine article that may interest one of your customers, rip it out and send it to them. Watch for business-related as well as anything personal you know that they enjoy.
4) When adding new services or updating prices, make sure you send your existing clients a copy. This not only keeps them up to date on new products or services but also serves as a reminder to call if they need anything.
5) Make sure that anyone you have done work for is subscribed to your ezine (you do have one, right?) An ezine keeps you fresh in clients’ minds and helps to establish trust and credibility.
By giving customers more than they paid for, they’ll perceive you and your business as a “real value,” resulting in return visits and increased sales.
Work on building relationships with your customers and the profit margins will take care of themselves. After all, they can buy from anyone; make them *want* to buy from *you*.