Relationship Marketing Strengthens Your Competitive Edge

While quality and customer value are two crucial ingredients in any effective marketing strategy, finding ways to catch people’s attention and gain their trust are among the cornerstones of building a customer base. When you stop and consider the number of purchasing choices people have on the Internet and the local marketplace, it doesn’t make sense to launch your own business unless you’re committed to offering more customer advantages and value than the competition.

Even though marketing strategies can vary from one business to another, a few principles usually remain constant:

  1. People are inundated with marketing messages, sales pitches, business proposals, and special offers throughout the day. While there are more opportunities than ever to get your message in front of targeted prospects, it can be especially challenging to get them to pay attention, melt away their sales resistance, and get them to take you seriously.
  2. Successful sales and marketing strategy is inextricably bound to principles of human psychology. Perhaps the foundation of successful sales and marketing is a concept that has been articulated by business thought leaders like Dale Carnegie: All things being equal, people tend to do business with people they know, like, and trust. When you think about it, that’s a pretty obvious marketing idea that b infused into every small business marketing plan and customer acquisition strategy. In many cases, sales and marketing would be immensely easier and more productive if business owners, sales staff, and account executives focused on relationship marketing rather than just pursuing a “one size fits all” marketing strategy.
  3. There’s good news and bad news about sales resistance. The bad news is that it can be one of the primary underlying causes of business failure, unrealized financial goals, and sales career burnout. The good news is that the causes of sales resistance can be analyzed, addressed, and — in many cases — eliminated. One of the most effective ways to overcome sales objections is to prevent them in the first place. In other words: Prioritizing value, quality, and service is crucial to to any successful marketing strategy, but potential customers can easily be lost when sales objections are not brought to the surface and adequately addressed.
  4. Customer relationship marketing can be based on a variety of complementary strategies including providing prospects with useful information, helpful advice, and value-added service. Staying in touch with prospects and clients can be an important way to create and maintain “top of mind awareness”, establish name recognition, and lay the groundwork for building trust and credibility. There are a variety of strategies for staying in touch with customers without being intrusive, including opt-in email newsletters, direct mail marketing (including marketing letters, promotional postcards, and coupon distribution), and even sending the occasional hand-written note.

When you make the extra effort to provide value, clearly communicate benefits, and make people feel special, your sales and marketing efforts should be more productive, profitable, and satisfying.