Lesson #8 How to Build Relationship that Leads to Sale
Welcome to lesson 8. We’re going to talk about the single most important thing you can do to boost your business: building relationships.
Successful businesses don’t just communicate with their prospects and customers in order to drive sales. They have a special connection that’s based on trust and likeability.
Creating that connection is a great way to add value, enhance your brand, and differentiate yourself from your competition.
So let’s talk about relationships and why they’re the fastest way to grow your business.
The most profitable skill set you can have
Up to now we’ve been focused on niche-building, marketing, and creating content. Those things sound like technical skills, but as you might have noticed, they are actually very social. Everything you have learned up to this point has to do with how to relate to other people as human beings.
The most valuable and profitable business skill you can possess? COMPASSION
Compassion is the ability to really imagine what it’s like to be another person. Feeling sympathy is not enough. You have to be able to put aside your own emotions and try to get into another person’s shoes. If you can understand their fears and frustrations, see the challenges they face, and their fantasies and desires, you will gain a completely different perspective.
How relationship works
What’s true for interpersonal relationships is also true for business relationships.
A real bond comes from being able to relate to another person. It’s NOT about telling people they’re wrong so you can prove you’re smarter than they are. It’s putting giving their emotions, needs, and wishes on par with your own.
When you can do it and do it well, you will see a different dynamic with your customers, and in how your business operates.
Marketing—especially content marketing—is now all about building relationships on a mass scale. Today, an effective marketer can build relationships in large numbers and do it fast. You can nurture the same connections that are built one-on-one, but in a much more scalable fashion.
Four rules of building relationships
In general, there are three types of relationships you should be building. These are: relationships with your customers, relationships with partners/affiliates, and relationships with the public/media.
Each has a different dynamic, but all three share the same principle: “What can you do for me?”
Everything comes back to the value that you bring to the table.
If you’re at a network event with a prospective customer standing in front of you, how do you start building a relationship that gets them to buy?
How do you get other marketers with substantial e-mail lists to promote your product and form a joint venture?
If you’re at a press conference, how do you get reporters and journalists from influential publications to write articles that benefit your business?
Here are four golden rules of building relationships:
1) Put away your own agenda
Authentic relationships are more like an intersection than a two way street. People may not come your way initially, and that’s ok. You must put away the urge to pressure or sway them toward what you want them to do. That’s just manipulation. Poor marketers—the unethical and often unsuccessful ones—try to manipulate the situation and twist the truth to get a favorable response. It doesn’t work in the long run, and it always comes back to haunt you.
Real relationships are built on trust, which only grows if the other person understands and believes in your intentions.
You need to discard your preconceived ideas, biases, and opinions, and become fluid. It’s like Bruce Lee famously said, “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water.”
Listen to what your customer needs, respond to it, and that’s how you’ll get them to like you.
When people like you, they’ll tend to trust you more.
Listen to your customer’s needs, that’s how you’ll get them to like you.
When people like you, they’ll tend to trust you more.
2) Figure out what they want
When I first meet someone, I don’t try to tell them what I do, or what interests me.
Instead, I focus on them.
Because like Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”
And the best way to show that you care is to understand exactly what they want. Figure out what’s keeping them up at night, what business problem or personal challenges they are facing, so you can drill deeper and identify their fears, frustrations, and desires.
The better you’re able to understand the motivation behind their needs, the faster you can start building a relationship.
In fact, everything goes back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
3) Give away your best stuff
Most experts and authors have a hard time with this one. It’s counterintuitive. But giving away value is actually a very effective marketing tactic.
Think about it…how will someone know if you have the goods without some kind of sample?
And if its real value, wouldn’t they come back for more?
Wouldn’t they remember?
Wouldn’t they tell others about you?
There may be some who take advantage of the sample and never reciprocate. But those are the ones who will never buy your product anyway, so you don’t really lose much. If anything, you’ve demonstrated your capabilities, and maybe down the road they will seek you out. What goes around comes around, right?
4) Don’t forget to follow up
In business, sales aren’t usually made the first, the second, or even the third time.
But if you follow up, you will increase your chance of making the sale.
Every contact that you don’t make equals sales that you don’t get and money you don’t collect.
How often should you talk to your customers?
What should your communication focus on? Getting them to buy, or building relationships?
Value-based content helps build relationships while sales-focused content can come of as pushy (or even borderline spam).
The answer is to communicate frequently and vary the types of message you send. Don’t just blast out e-mails on products and promotions; sprinkle in helpful tips or other valuable free content.
There are lots of ways to follow up with your prospective customers. But as far as I’m concerned, e-mail and phone calls are best.
Think about your electronic content (e-mails, newsletters, updates, etc.) as a means of building relationships. People don’t know you at first, so they are skeptical about your product. Maybe they even dislike you.
Electronic messages can be a great way to overcome that skepticism, if you have done your homework and you nail all of their existing and potential questions.
Great follow-up techniques with interesting content can make you more creditable, help you form relationships, and increase the chance that someone will come back and buy your product.
The goal is to mix up your content and utilize multiple channels, such as e-mail, direct mail, phone contact, and face-to-face communication. This keeps prospects moving through your sales funnel without burning out on your message.
In the next lesson you’ll learn how to create newsletters and follow-up content to build relationships with your prospects.
I’ll talk to you soon!
P.S. Profitable Knowledge Recommendations
Have you started building your e-mail list yet? Need a service provider?
Start building relationships by creating e-mail interactions. If you don’t already have an e-mail marketing provider, I recommend these two affiliate links:
AWeber – Has a great auto-responder system that delivers all of the lessons you’re getting right now. I use this for my own blog and projects.
GetResponse – Another great newsletter/auto responder recommended by my students and other bloggers as a reliable program with great features.
Oh, by the way…
If you found this page via a link on the Internet, or a friend forwarded it to you, this is lesson #8 to a free online course delivered via email on how to use solid Internet marketing strategies to build a business doing what you love and make a living.
You can learn more about it HERE