Relationship Marketing

Posted:  June 15th, 2009 by:  admin comments:  0

If events have one overarching purpose it is to nurture relationships.

Effective marketing is based on long-term, mutually beneficial relationships that are valuable for all involved parties.  Relationship marketing is about transcending the simple purchase-exchange process for a more fulfilling and rewarding outcome.

Events are the best intentional and interactive way to appreciate your prospects and their business challenges.  By hosting an event, you can shape the dialogue and focus on (and respond to) your prospect’s specific needs in a real-time conversation.

While events can involve the spreading of information, problem solving exercises, case study presentations, and product demonstrations, each one of these objectives can be realized via other mediums as well.  Events are not always better than brochureware, web copy, chat boards, call centres, direct mail, or demonstrations depending on the objective the tactic is meant to achieve.  So if all of this is true, why are events so successful?

Events are successful because

·  they deliver the greatest return on investment
·  they can directly initiate the sales process
·  they help initiate and maintain the client-provider relationship
·  they say “you’re worth my time” to prospects
·  they give you the opportunity to show that you care about the real struggles your prospects face

Just as testimonials are powerful on websites and direct mail, opening up a transparent discussion between your prospects reinforces the strength and confidence of your brand.  By cultivating trust and community centred on your prospects’ needs, you are creating a relationship.  And in this relationship you are the trusted resource.

For more neat marketing cartoons from Hugh McLeod swing over to gapingvoid.

For more of Hugh McLeod’s great cartoons drawn on the back of business cards swing over to www.gapingvoid.com

Sometimes companies mistakenly see events as glorified sales calls.  Certainly your event should end with a specific call to action such as “book an appointment for an assessment” or “complete this survey and tell us about your biggest challenges.”   But confusing an event for an outright sales call can cost you.

You may be seen as arrogant, pushy, self-interested…all things you would be better off to avoid.  These characteristics hinder the  foundations of a solid business relationship.

Never settle for the event plan that seems obvious.  Challenge yourself and your team to consider your upcoming event as a relationship building exercise.  And remember the elements necessary to all relationships: common ground, mutual respect, and mutual benefit.

Use your next event to establish these relationship elements because a relationship with your prospect community is the only way you stand a chance of getting on your prospect’s radar when they’re ready to make a purchase.

 

Originally posted on starshot.com

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