Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Relationship Marketing

Everyone has heard the saying, "If it was fun, it wouldn't be called work". Why does that need to be true? The #1 job of a business is to get new customers. That's pretty fun isn't it? It can certainly take hard work too. Relationship marketing guarantees that the job of getting new customers gets to be fun. It's fun because you begin developing a network of marketing friends to work with every day. Who doesn't want to spend every day working with their friends?

The other thing about working with your friends is that friends usually want to help each other out. I know if I have an opportunity to help a friend, I'm going to do it every time. In marketing, working with friends can and should mean being able to share business referrals and contact lists among friends. If I know 5 people (friends) that could work well with my other friends, then I'm going to introduce those 5 friends to my other friends, and all of those friends would do the same thing for me. These friends get to know those friends and I get to know the friends of those friends, and then we all figure out how we can help each other because we are all friends now and we all want to help our friends while those friends are all helping us.

I know many of you reading this are saying to yourself, "but this is just networking, it's not a new idea." I agree that it's not a new idea, but you would be shocked to find out just how many people aren't thinking about it. I've had an opportunity to present this idea to some of my friends lately and most of them had not thought about it in this way before. I'm offering to do 2 important things for them: 1. I'm offering to do business with them myself. 2. I'm offering to open up my rolodex to them so they can develop business friends with people they never knew before. The key thing here is that they aren't having to do any cold-calling. Instead, they get to pick up the phone and honestly say, "Chris Helms told me I should talk to you." And, because it's a friends of mine, the answer will just about always be YES because friends like to help friends.

In exchange, I get access to the rolodexes of all of my friends, then eventually to all of their friends' rolodexes as well. It's so much easier to do business with friends than with complete strangers. So, create friend-business relationships and do business with your friends every single day. The first step is to share this idea with your friends and get them on board. Next, exchange rolodexes and get to work.

Who are your current friends that you work with? Which of those friends could help some of your other friends? Start thinking about and referring to your current business contacts as business friends. Then, build that relationship up accordingly. Go out with your friends to do some joint marketing to your list of contacts and theirs. If we all help our friends and all of our friends help us, then we will have an exponentially greater opportunity for success.