It’s been repeated so many times and in so many way that it has now become a mantra – People do business with people they know, like and trust. This statement applies to both offline and online Marketing and Sales.
Getting to know you, learning to like you, and building trust are all emotional reactions. It takes time to develop these emotions and reactions; time during which a relationship has to be cultivated and developed. Let’s compare this to a farmer who takes a barren plot of land, tills and fertilizes the soil, plants the seed, cares for the seedlings and growing plants so that eventually he is rewarded with a bountiful crop. In a similar way as business owners we have to develop this type of mindset in cultivating relationships. The results may not be apparent immediately, but will come over time. Here are four suggestions that have worked for many:
1) Be authentic. Each person has his or her own unique style in online marketing. However, it is important to show that you are a real person with emotions and imperfections. Do not be afraid to reveal some of your weaknesses and how you overcame or corrected them. People will be drawn to you as they will see that you experienced challenges that may be similar to theirs but you prevailed, and so can they. What is more, because you revealed some of yourself to your current and potential customers and clients, they will understand that you trust them; in turn they will give you their trust.
2) Listen to others. This may be easier to implement in offline settings with direct contact, but with a little ingenuity can be applied to online marketing by using surveys, e-mails, opinion polls, and feedback to questions.
3) Thank people for their input. Showing appreciation is very important in cultivating relationships. This is equally valuable when marketing online. A comment on your blog, a response to any of the above in 2) a compliment or other positive interactions in Social Media, like Twitter should be acknowledged. Send a follow-up e-mail, a Thank You card or a Direct Message, or any other method you may find effective.
4) Provide assistance in solving a problem. Send a free report, a free CD, a link to a free Teleseminar, or perhaps a link to another person’s website who may be in a better position to provide the needed help.
When you give first in online marketing your potential clients and existing clients will understand and appreciate that you really care about others and are concerned about providing value. The result is that you will more likely have people who want to do business with you and who may actively seek you out so that you become the Hunted rather than the Hunter.
Yvonne A Jones is a Solo Entrepreneur and Direct Sales Relationship Marketing Coach. She’s passionate about helping small business owners and solo-professionals to see the value of cultivating long-term relationships with their Customers and Clients. She’s also a Skin Care and Image Consultant who enjoys working with women to align their beauty on the outside with their beauty inside.