If you are an online business owner like myself, you probably have heard a lot that people don't want to be sold to. Which makes sense at first, but then you're like "wait, but how do I sell stuff then?" Let's take a look shall we?
From an anthropological perspective we have to understand, that our parents grew up in a world where marketing exploded! Being branded wasn't much of a concept before hand. And suddenly people want brand name clothes, they can recognize a fast food chain by just two yellow arches, and sales from TV sales channels were exploding. (We all have a parent or grandparent that owns at least one thing they bought off of a TV sales channel.) Marketing overload was everywhere! That kind of marketing was a fad. I am sure this relationship marketing may be a fad too. But that doesn't mean to just ignore it. Because the in your face marketing lasted a long time, and I think this one will too.
So what does relationship marketing look like? Relationship marketing is all about building relationships with clients. I truly believe this is why the recent boom in a particular american direct sales clothing line. You know what I'm talking about. Those soft clothes that everyone is buying up. I believe that part of their success is due to the fact that customers are interacting directly with the person they are buying from. A relationship is being built through the shopping process. I actually believe that booming clothing line has helped many direct sales companies recently! Even though most of you reading this are likely running your own companies and not a part of any direct sales company, we can still learn a thing or two from this.
What do you love when you shop? Do you love getting a hand written thank you when you buy something off Etsy? Everyone loves when their local direct sales clothing line sales person messages you when she gets and item in she thinks you'll love? Do you look up to business owners that you see active in the community? Model these things.
Get to know your clients! I don't just mean to learn their demographics. While that's important. I mean really get to know your clients. Who are they? Do they have kids? What makes them feel appreciated? In the long run, this is going to create a customer loyalty that will be stronger than other. And if you're a new business, and being active in your business community, helpful, and present is going to help you build a great reputation!
From my own experience, I have seen professions in various fields engaged in the business community online, and come to love them. Anyone I have ever hired for any project for my business has always been someone who has been engaged and helpful in the community. There's just an automatic respect there.
What do you think of the relationship marketing trend? What are you doing to build relationships with your clients?