Customer Relationship Marketing: Building Strong Connections

In a world where everything’s virtual, fast paced and automated, there’s this superpower called “relationship marketing.” It’s all about creating real connections that light up your business. These authentic bonds not only make your professional life better but your personal one too. In this article I dive into this world of relationship marketing, why it’s amazing and some tips for nurturing these relationships like a pro.

Customer Relationship Marketing

The Power of Customer Relationship Marketing

Imagine your business as a rocket, soaring towards the stars. Just like a rocket needs fuel to thrust itself into the cosmos, your business requires something equally potent to propel it forward – and that fuel is the power of genuine relationships. These relationships are the dynamic force that ignites your business’s engines, propelling it towards unprecedented heights.

Now, staying with our rocket metaphor for a while, let’s look at two distinct types of relationships that play a pivotal role in your business journey. 

The first type or relationships resembles the hustle of a launch, where the focus is on pushing products and services. This approach might get you immediate results, much like the initial fiery burst of a rocket’s engines as it breaks free from Earth’s gravitational pull. It’s a sprint, a rapid exchange of value, and it can certainly provide a boost to your business’s trajectory. But, this type of relationship – while maybe powerful in the moment, burns out quickly and is not long lasting because it’s built on transactions only, not really authentic relationships.

On the other hand, picture the second type of relationship as a long-term adventure through the galaxies. It’s built on trust, authenticity, and genuine connections. This type of relationship mimics the cosmic voyage of a spacecraft that embarks on a journey of exploration. As your business builds these important connections, it paves the way for long-term success, just like a space probe that keeps sending valuable information even after it first takes off.

When your business forms authentic connections and builds trust with customers, partners, and stakeholders, it’s like establishing a stable orbit around your goals. Just as a spacecraft navigates through celestial bodies, your business maneuvers through challenges and opportunities with grace and finesse. These relationships become the compass that guide your business, ensuring that it remains on course and adaptable to the ever-changing cosmos of the market.

So what is Customer Relationship Marketing?

Relationship marketing is a business strategy that focuses on the 2nd type of relationship above: building and nurturing strong, meaningful connections with your network and your clients over the long term. Unlike traditional transactional approaches that prioritize quick sales, relationship marketing emphasizes creating genuine and lasting bonds. 

What are the benefits of customer relationship marketing?

Relationship Marketing helps you form strong bonds with clients and other connections in your intentional network. This not only makes your connection with current clients stronger but also encourages them to tell others about your business. We also call this Referral Marketing or Word of Mouth marketing. It’s the best kind of marketing there is, because the client is already pre-sold by one of your connections who vouches for you.

Is customer relationship marketing time-consuming?

It depends. Maybe you are asking yourself this question because you’re exhausted from attending endless networking events and conferences and come home with stacks of business cards, but don’t feel like you want to build a relationship with any of those people. But collecting business cards is a great example of unintentional relationship marketing. 

Intentional relationship marketing does not have to be time consuming. In fact, my friend Michelle Warner has a really good program called Networking that Pays in which she teaches you her system by investing just 5 Minutes per day for relationship marketing with intention (this is an affiliate link. I went through the program myself and use it intensely and highly recommend it! I get a small commission if you buy through my link).

As an introvert I steer away from any type of overt networking events that are in my opinion often just a sales event in disguise. Those events are time consuming, especially if after the speed-dating you then have to sit through ten 30-minute coffee chats. 

But again, that’s unintentional networking. 

Relationship marketing is intentional, only with the right connections and your clients.

What role does technology or Social Media play in customer relationship marketing?

Technology and/or Social Media are just tools that come in handy when we’re nurturing these relationships. But we don’t rely on their algorithms for example to get our content seen. Relationship Marketing is created 1-on-1 with humans, not with avatars. 

And it also doesn’t matter which platform we’re using: LinkedIn, Instagram, Voxer or WhatsApp, Emails, as long as we’re sending private messages to our connections it all works. What matters most is that the outreach is personalized.

How do you ensure authenticity in customer relationship marketing?

Think beyond business. Think long-lasting friendships. If you’re bringing all of you to your business and marketing, then naturally you will also show up with authenticity in your relationships. 

Read this post on how to find your authentic self as an entrepreneur

How can I measure the success of my customer relationship marketing efforts?

When do you know that relationship marketing works? 

Thank You notes and replies to your newsletters: We all love to be useful and appreciated. The first return from your relationship marketing efforts will be a sense of ‘feel good’ in the form of thank you notes from your connections and even email subscribers. Thanking you for the great value you share, resources you send them and just friendly catch up messages. 

Opportunities: Next you will see opportunities pop up left and right. Here an invitation to a podcast, there a guest speaking gig. As you will be top of mind for your relations, they will think of you first when an opportunity arises. 

Introductions: After a while of receiving from you, people will start to reciprocate and introduce you to other people they think you should know. Since you built your connections with intention, these introductions will be beneficial to you as well. 

Referrals: And finally, your relationship marketing efforts will pay off with referrals. Referrals, the ultimate testament to the success of relationship marketing, become a steady stream of new opportunities for your business. They open doors that might otherwise have remained closed and introduce potential clients who arrive with a predisposition to trust and engage with your offerings.

Five Tips for your Customer Relationship Marketing

Whether it’s with colleagues, friends, or acquaintances, fostering meaningful connections requires effort and intention.

Here are five valuable tips that can help you cultivate and maintain strong and authentic relationships:

  1. Add Value: Find ways to give to others without expecting something in return. Share helpful resources, make introductions, or offer assistance whenever possible. This generosity strengthens relationships.
  2. Show Gratitude: Express appreciation for others’ contributions and support. A simple thank you can greatly nurture connections and create a positive atmosphere. In Michelle’s program she encourages you to send a ‘Thank you’ note to someone every Monday. 
  3. Be Genuine: Interact authentically and sincerely. People appreciate honesty and can tell when someone is being fake. Show your true self and build connections based on shared values and confidence. Want to know how? Read this article on discovering your authentic identity.
  4. Stay Connected: Regularly reach out to your network to maintain relationships. Have catch-up conversations, participate in events together, or share interesting articles. Consistency is key to building and nurturing relationships.
  5. Follow Up and Follow Through: After a discussion or meeting, always follow up to show your ongoing interest and commitment. Keep your promises, which boosts trustworthiness and reliability. Integrity is everything.

In a world increasingly driven by automation, it’s time to go back to basics: Relationship marketing. By embracing and nurturing authentic connections, we are investing in a sustainable, long-term business rather than a hustle that relies on shady marketing tactics based on manipulation and fear.

Other Resources You Might Enjoy

Blog post: How to Find Your Authentic Self (as an Entrepreneur)

Blog post: Authentic Relationships: How to be Human in Business

Blog post: Find Your People in Business: A Marketing Guide for Conscious Entrepreneurs

Blog post: Online Community: Build Your Business with Like-Minded Individuals

Podcast episode: Relationship Building: Nurture these 10 Vital Business 

Podcast episode: Grow Your Business with Authentic Personalized Outreach





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Your contact information is safe, and will not be used in ways
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