Relationships are the key

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Money can’t buy one of the most important things you need to promote your business, which are relationships. How do customer relationships drive your business? It’s all about finding people who believe in your products or services.

Your customers and contacts are the most important part of your business. By building good relationships with your customers, you are more likely to keep them coming back. This also builds a good referral network.

Powerful relationships don’t just happen from giving out your business card to everyone at networking events. Here are some tips:

Build your network – it leads to sales. Your network includes business colleagues, professional acquaintances, prospective and existing customers, partners, suppliers, contractors, family, friends and people you meet at school, church and in your community.

Communication is a contact sport, do it early and often. Relationships have a short shelf life. No matter how charming, enthusiastic or persuasive you are, no one will likely remember you from a business card or a one-time meeting. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they come home from networking events and fail to follow up. Make the connection immediately.

E-mail marketing or social media keeps relationships strong on a shoestring budget. Build your reputation as an expert by giving away some free insight. An easy way to communicate is on an e-mail newsletter, social media account or website that shows prospects why they should buy from you. Online marketing can be a cost-effective and easy way to stay on customers’ minds, build their confidence in your expertise, and retain them.

Reward loyal customers, and they’ll reward you. Repeat customers spend a lot more than new customers. Are you doing enough to encourage them to work with you again? Stay in touch, and give them something of value in exchange for their time, attention and business. Loyal customers are your best salespeople. Spend the time to build your network.

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