The art of relationship building
I still remember my 4-year-old self zipping down the sidewalk on my tricycle. Then, spotting a similar-sized person and proclaiming, “Hi, my name is Scott. Do you want to be my friend?” And with his affirmative response, I had just created my first relationship (Ken, was his name).
Little did I know then that relationship building would become not only an important part of my life and career but a true essential for all marketers.
Perhaps we all take the art of, and impact of, relationships for granted. After all, unlike my assault on Ken, they often materialize organically and over time.
I’d like to share some thoughts about relationships as they relate to marketing and business. If you arrived at this blog seeking info regarding romantic relationships, you really need to improve your search skills.
They are actually people
First of all, think for a moment about each of your customers. Not the sprawling spreadsheets or marketing automation hub that you pore over, but truly envision the individuals that have chosen your product or service. Each one is an actual human being.
They no doubt had numerous options. Some cheaper, others possibly more familiar – but ultimately they made a decision to join your family. They chose to have a relationship with you. And you hope it grows and only gets better, but what is your relationship-building strategy and what are you doing to show them how you feel? You must have a plan to engage them. If you’re leaving it to your “other half” to do more of the work, that’s an early sign your relationship may be on shaky ground.
Build an authentic experience
Since “relationship marketing” is a well-recognized and practiced strategy that many marketers deeply understand, my mission here is to not regurgitate that section from your marketing textbook but to help us all open our eyes to the absolute purity and richness that comes from the connection of people.
Think for a moment about how much content we generate in order to gain, protect, and grow our customers. With every salvo, we’re representing not only our company but the very experience one should expect from our brand.
We must always remember that words matter. Mark Twain wrote, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ‘Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
Knowing the customer well enough to speak or write authentically will prove that you understand them, have an appreciation for their craft, and are thankful for them. Doing this effectively and subtly is the right approach to relationship building.
Honesty at all times
No discussion about relationships would be complete without recognizing the imperative of honesty. No union can exist if there is distrust.
Pledging to always do the right thing will ensure that a relationship will not only thrive but overcome that invariable challenge down the road.
For those honesty-tested moments I’ve always kept close such reminders as, “What would mom think?” or, “What if the tables were turned?” and my favorite, “Be the man your dog thinks you are.”
Relationships are our business
At SWBR, we’ve been blessed with remarkable relationships that have led to extraordinary results in helping clients that have been with us long before the word “blog” existed, to new partnerships that show exceptional promise. At the same time, our internal relationships are absolutely genuine and have enabled us to generate great chemistry and energy.
With more than 50 years in business, we owe our longevity to the people we’ve connected with along the way. Many of our newest client acquisitions have come from previous relationships or word of mouth. That’s a true testament to a successful partnership.
So while your next relationship will likely not originate from a tyke on a trike, think about every new engagement and plan to make it special, while re-committing to your long-tenured customers.
If you’d like to explore a relationship with SWBR then, “Hi, my name is Scott.” Give me a call or contact us to get started.