Know what to say!

What is relationship marketing?

According to Business Dictionary.com, relationship marketing is:

Promotional and selling activities aimed at developing and managing trusting and long-term relationships with customers.”

This marketing skill doesn’t come naturally to many high powered entrepreneurs; but it’s actually simple to learn. The key is to be patient and to focus on creating a relationship with your potential client. Find out if your product or service is right for them before telling them about it. Here’s a simple 3 step telephone strategy. Imagine you’ve given a presentation about your product or service and you are making follow up marketing phone calls to people who said they were interested.

Step 1: Slow Down

The key to customer relationships marketing is to focus on your client. Slow down and let your client into the conversation from the very beginning. Here’s an example relationship marketing telephone script:

You: “Hi, may I speak to Robert please?”

Client: “This is Robert.”

You: “Hi Robert. It’s Mary Jones calling.”

Client: “Yes?”

You: “As you recall, we met at Chamber of Commerce last Thursday evening?”

Client: “Oh, yes. That’s right.”

You: “Do you have a quick minute?”

Client: “Sure.” Note: usually they say “sure” or “yes,” but if they say “no,” ask for permission to call again and find out when is a good time.”

Step 2: Identify Needs

  1. Relationship marketing is a give and give and take process; so, get your client involved in the conversation. For example:

You: “Robert, I wanted to call and say thank you for attending my presentation last week.”

Client: “Oh, you’re welcome.”

You: “While I have you on the phone, would you be open to answering a couple of quick questions?”

Client: “Yes, of course.”

Ask 2 or 3 key specific and targeted questions to elicit the need for your product or service. Pause to listen to the answer and jot down a few notes while they talk. Here are some examples for a couple of different kinds of products (cookware sales and leadership training):

  1. Qualify the lead.
    • Cookware: “Do you do the cooking for your family?”
    • Leadership training: “Are you a team leader in your business?”
  2. Find out their current level of satisfaction.
    • Cookware: “Are you satisfied with the meals you are currently creating?”
    • Leadership training: “Are you satisfied with the productivity of your team?”
  3. Identify the need for your product or service.
    • Cookware : “What challenges are you encountering with meal preparations for your family?”
    • Leadership training: “What challenges are you encountering with your team production?”
  1. Cement the relationship by showing that you are listening to your client. Using your notes, paraphrase whatever the client said. Pause and let the client respond. They will either confirm that you’ve got it right or offer more information. For example:

So you are saying that…” For example:

  • Cookware: “It takes a long time to plan and prepare satisfying meals and it’s challenging for you because you work full time and have 2 small children?”
  • Leadership training: “You have invested in a lot of sales training to your team, but sales are still well below average?”

Step 3:Market your product

Once you are sure you completely understand the challenges the client is encountering, ask permission to offer a solution. For example: “I have an idea that might helpful. Would you be open to hearing about it?”

Once you’ve received permission, share the information about your product or service. Use some of the same words they used when describing the challenge they are encountering. The time you take to get to know them and their challenge will create a relationship and increase your success rate significantly. Once they have shared their challenge and agreed to listen to your ideas, your relationship marketing success will skyrocket.

Your Success Is My Goal,

Linda

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