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Building Relationships to Build Business

Apr 9, 2008
Attending networking events is probably the most natural venue for building relationships. But don't limit yourself to scheduled networking events. In your day to day life don't forget to present your business to everyone you meet. I once gained two clients while purchasing a mattress set. Everyone you meet is a potential customer as well as a friend. We don't make friends just to drive business but it is important to keep in mind how our services and products can help and enrich our friends and acquaintances. If we truly value what we do and what we offer, it is only natural that we want to bring these things to everyone we meet.
Conversation is your key to establishing those relationships that can translate to new customers. Just be open and engaging in all your interactions.

But once you have established those relationships the real work begins. Relationships that are neglected or taken for granted will wither and die. Follow up is so important. Email and the telephone can be the life's blood to nurturing your relationships. Recently, services have become available to send actual greeting cards and postcards to your new acquaintances through online card services.

These dynamic services can build a data base of potential clients, personal friends and family, and existing customers and allow you to send personalized cards to everyone on your lists. These cards are ordered through your computer and allow you to write your own message, choose formats, and personalize through photos. They are printed and mailed the US mail by the service provider at a cost lower than if you did the leg work and paid for the card and postage yourself. It is a new resource that every networking business person should investigate.

Remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and important events becomes easy with these card services, where you are reminded when to send out cards or messages. As you grow your business you will discover that your first ventures into the networking world will train you for the hard work of relationship marketing and outsourcing the follow-up functions will save you a lot of time while keeping you current and thorough in all your follow-up efforts.

The most important thing is to make that initial connection and grow it into a lasting and sustainable relationship. Any established business has at its roots, a base of long-term loyal customers who formed the foundation for the business' growth. When you are just starting out it is important to keep the "big picture" in mind. That small customer who only needs your services every quarter can become a bi-weekly account if nurtured and valued correctly. Just be willing to do the initial leg work and outsource as many of the time consuming follow-up activities as you can. Coordination of effort is vital to a well rounded relationship marketing strategy.
About the Author
Melissa Vokoun is a successful Business Advisor, Coach and Trainer. To learn more about the services available, please visit the website at: http://www.coachingqueen.com or call 847-392-6886.
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