Relationship Marketing Versus Selling
So many business owners are more than a little confused when it comes to relationship marketing and selling. Are they the same thing or two different items altogether? Before we go further, here’s a short definition of “relationship marketing.”
"Relationship marketing is about forming long-term relationships with customers."(marketing-schools.org)
Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at this thing in more detail.
Relationship marketing is all about developing a great line of communication with your customers. It's basically a situation where you both win. You’ve been working hard to connect with your customer and are now you're at a point where you trust each other. This can really help when it comes to asking for a sale.
You know your own ways of moving through your buying process. For example, who do you normally buy from? The person you know, like and trust or the person who has the cheapest price? Most people prefer to pay a little extra to buy from the person they trust the most. You probably do the same.
As a business owner the more solid relationships you develop with your customers, the more business and referrals you will see. Do you know that research has shown that it is more expensive to keep on finding new customers, as opposed to retaining current ones? This is why relationship marketing is so important for any business owner. (Check out the last paragraph for some interesting information on what this actually means!)
It makes sense to work on keeping your customers happy. Then when you run a sale or have a new product (or service) coming out, you have eager buyers waiting to snap up your offer because they know the value and quality of your offerings.
When you are selling your main goal is exactly that – to get the sale. It may not even matter to you how you achieve this. The key point to make right now is where is your main concern? Your main concern is not that of your potential customer, it’s just seeing how much cash you will rake in each day, and we all know how eager people are to be sold to.
While this may bring you immediate success and profits. It won't help you retain your customers. You may not even have happy customers either. By focusing only on the sale and not how you get it, you can be seen as a greedy business owner. Someone who is out only for themselves and not for the good of the customer. We are sure this is not how you want to be viewed?
As you can see there is a lot more work and effort needed when it comes to building customer relationships. This is something that can easily double or triple your bottom line when done correctly.
There is only one way to look at relationship marketing versus selling. It is to think of it as making sure you are retaining current customers instead of always having to looking for new ones. When you consider the cost of retaining a current customer versus acquiring a new client (did you know it costs 5-25 times more to get a new client than it does to retain a current client (more info here: The value of keeping the right customers.) Which would you prefer to work on each day in your business?