“People do business with people they know, like, and trust.” OMG, this must be the number one marketing truth that I have passed to my clients, and every person I talk to that wants to know how to get clients because this is precisely the reason for building marketing relationships instead of trying to sell something right off the bat.
“People have to know, like, and trust you.”
So how do you build relationships without feeling like having a hidden agenda? How can you feel good about contacting leads and potential clients without feeling a tiny bit of a fraud or having the fear that they will see you like a sleazy manipulate? Here are 5 ways to build marketing relationships that bring joy, laughter, and on more occasions, a client.😀
- Genuinely like the people you want to follow up with.
This sounds like an open door, but it’s not. You can’t imagine how many people feel indifferent or, worse, feel even repelled by their new contact! Building relationships is an intuitive process. But sometimes, the need for leads, prospects, clients (and money) makes people rationalize the contact’s value.
And they reason, “it’s just business; we don’t have to be friends.” That’s doing business the hard way if you ask me.
The easy way is to build relationships with people you like and already enjoy spending time with. Your genuine interest in them and affinity for their business and clients will make an authentic connection. Building a relationship from that basis will feel effortless and, in due course, be fruitful.
2. Offer resources and solutions with no strings attached
At the start of the relationship, you want to give your new contacts and potential clients examples of what you have to offer for free and for no other reason than being of value. Giving feels good (receiving also), and it allows them to interact with you more frequently. You can offer free information resources on your website and in the form of articles, reports, assessment tools, or hardcopy books that you can send or give them.
The more you are perceived as a resource, the more intense your relationship will grow, and the more they will trust you as the go-to person.
3. Be honest about your intentions.
Sometimes you just wish that you could work with a person you met. Because you like them, they have a problem that you can solve for them, and they perfectly match the profile of your ideal client. That’s wonderful. But don’t try to conceal your purpose when building a relationship with them. People can feel your intentions and might fear that they will be sold to. And that is death to many relationships.
It’s perfectly ok to tell you would LOVE them to have as a client to work with someday. Just let them know what you can do for them now, for free, and suggest to keep in contact and at some point have a conversation to see whether it would make sense to work together. Absolutely transparent and authentic. And you will both feel good about building the relationship.
4. Treat potential clients as high-paying clients already.
When you get rid of the idea that you have to “close a client,” you open up to a new valuable relationship. When interacting with potential clients, treat them as if they were paying clients already! Share ideas, listen carefully, respond thoughtfully and with genuine interest. That way, you sow trust. If you think you can’t do that because you don’t give away free advice to just anyone, then think of the example of how you’d want to be treated when you walked into the Porsche dealership or the Louis Vuitton store. Would you like to be treated like a high-paying client before you bought something or after you spent your money on them? Right. I thought so. Well, you can do the same with your business and potential clients!
Last but not least:
5. Stay in touch.
Relationship building demands an effort. People need to hear from you and about you regularly. Because out of sight is out of the heart. There are multiple ways in which you can keep the relationship alive and intensify it. Think of publishing an ezine or blog that can help you stay connected. Schedule coffee dates or come together online in social media groups (have you tried clubhouse? I love the name!).
A follow-up strategy with automated sequences comes in handy if you aim to consistently build good relationships with the many people you meet during your entrepreneurial career, whether you met them offline or online. Once they enter your pipeline, it’s time to nurture and engage them. It sure can help to build the trust that is needed for people to become your client.
Helpful? Insights? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below.