Relationship Marketing and a Successful Business

Relationship marketing is a business strategy where the focus is on existing and local customers. The internet is now a vital tool for every expanding company. Originally, a business on the internet was trying to capture a global market in order to grow their business. Today, the focus can be more local. The internet is now used to help businesses expand their local customer base and keep their existing clients while retaining the added bonus of having a global reach.

Perhaps you’re thinking to yourself- Why focus on just the local customer base? Why not just try to bring in customers from all over? Simply- it is because most micro and mini businesses, whether they are using the internet or not, are “too small” to spread out globally or there really isn’t a need to for them to go global to turn new profits. With thousands of the same businesses competing for new clients, these businesses are comparable to needles in haystacks in the global market. It is like fishing for goldfish in the ocean with a teaspoon.

On the other hand, when it comes to relationship marketing, the same micro and mini businesses, can feel like business giants. Why? This is because when you focus on your local clients you are able to build a more trusting, long term relationship with them. Your goal should be to be on a first name basis with each of your clients, you should be aware of key details in their life and of their financial situations. Your clients should see you as an expert but also as a friend and confidant. This is the key to cornering the local market and to draw in new clients.

Relationship Marketing on the Internet

It is easy to understand and master relationship marketing in a small town where you have your business up and running and people you have known for years as your patrons. How do you do relationship marketing on the internet? Easy. You aim your sales, advertisements and promotions to a targeted niche segment which is localized by geography and/ or situation. As an example, you can focus your efforts towards people of X town who went through a devastating bankruptcy; or lived through a foreclosure of their home; or were chased high and low by the debt collection agency until they felt they could bear no more. The more exact you are the easier it will be to attract new clients.

How Do You Build Relationships On The Internet?

You build relationships on the Internet no differently than you build them when you are in a brick-and-mortar shop. You build them with patience, win-win attitude and constant communication.

1. Patience – Once you draw in a potential customer, gently coax him to share information with you. First, his email; then gradually address, telephone number, anniversary date, birthday date, religious orientation, food preference, vacationing preferences, other members of their family and so on. While you use this information to build the “bigger picture” of the customer you are working with, you need to have plenty of patience to acquire this information very gradually. No client wants to feel as if they are being interrogated just for the benefit of your profit margin.

2. Win-win attitude – This is applicable in any business, not only in micro and mini e-enterprises. You need to instill trust in your clients and partners. They should be happy to share profits with you, as you would be sharing it with them. In a win-win situation everyone goes home happy; the seller and the buyer. Both can sleep well at night because they know they have not taken advantage of the other party. A good and healthy relationship ensures that both the parties have benefitted equally from the association. In fact, only a win-win partnership can be expected to grow both financially and socially.

3. Constant Communication – The customer, for you, in this part of the business is not only a name attached to an email. This is a person with anxieties, joys, trials, challenges, and rewards in their life. This is a real person and that is how they should remain for you. They should be ever present in your mind when making business decisions. Ensure that you are in constant communication with your customers – through emails, newsletters, press releases, webinars, e-conferences, and so on. The “constant communication” will tell your localized niche market base that you care for each one of them and you will do your best to always protect their best interests. Constant communication will ensure that when your client has a financial question they think of your business first.

Relationship marketing has transformed the way businesses attract and retain customer loyalty. It is the difference between potential customers going anywhere for the services you provide or going to your business for years to come because of the way you do business and show you care.

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