The Subtleties of Relationship Marketing
The relationship between you and the client is one of your most important assets. Focusing on loyalty and long-term engagement will almost always pay off more than “turn-and-burn,” sales-focused approaches. This is especially true today where consumers value experience, communication, and personality. Not only do they value these attributes, but they have also come to expect them from businesses. This is why relationship marketing should be the focal point of your overall strategy.
Strong advisor/client relationships are often built through in-person appointments and various other marketing touches. Informational emails and monthly newsletters are good for ongoing education and product updates relevant to their situation. Sharing articles on social media will provide a similar benefit. A brief phone call to catch up and chat about any life changes is another powerful form of relationship marketing.
These are all tried and true examples of relationship marketing. And you’ve probably been practicing many of these since your first year in the business. While these slow-burn methods are effective, there are other, more subtle ways to establish credibility and build strong relationships.
Transparency is a necessity for businesses today. Your clients expect their personal information to be kept under lock-and-key. Obviously, you will need some of that information. Clarify why you’re asking for it and the channels it will pass through. Other ways to boost transparency include:
- Make sure to let the client know as much as possible about you and your business (core values, background, education, credentials, etc.)
- Responding ASAP to phone calls/messages with questions, concerns, or criticisms
- Disclose all fees and expenses associated with their plan
Professionalism is of the utmost importance when dealing with clients. You need to look the part and come across like a true pro. At the same time, you want to show off some personality. Clients, especially newcomers, want to feel comfortable with those they do business with. The value of personalized engagement cannot be understated. Be proactive and consistent with communication and speak in terms the client can easily digest. Active listening is also crucial. Show the client you’re invested in their situation and give them a sense of ownership in the process.
Keep in mind that maintaining long-term clients is much more cost-effective than onboarding new clients. An easy-going and relatable personality will earn that loyalty.
The Low-Pressure Cooker
An aggressive sales pitch is a great way to turn a new or potential client into a missed opportunity. People would rather buy than be sold to. In-person appointments are your best chance to build rapport and strengthen relationships. Spend a few minutes engaging in small talk before transitioning into education and, ultimately, the pitch.
Relationship Marketing Stats
- 77% of consumers will recommend a company to a friend after having a positive experience (Get Feedback)
- A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profitability by 75% (Drift)
- 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service. (American Express)
- New acquisitions can be 5 – 25 times more expensive than retaining existing clients (Oberlo)
- 65% of a company’s business comes from existing clients (Small Biz Trends)