What if selling didn’t feel all gross and icky and was actually fun? What if selling was actually helping your favorite people and getting to know them even better? Suppose that you looked forward to connecting with your peeps because you knew you were going to make their day.
This is all possible…if you rely on relationship marketing. See, relationship marketing isn’t about harassing your friends and family and strong-arming them into buying stuff from you in order to get you to Just. Leave. Them. Alone.
It’s not about using your connections to meet your sales quotas and push product, any product. And, it’s definitely not about only talking to folks just to make a sale – how obnoxious is that?
Unfortunately, too many people in our business are using those tacky traditional sales methods to get their next sale. And that gives the rest of us a bad name.
If your best friend gave you a look that was a combination of fear and horror when you mentioned you were selling products for your brand, they may have been burned before by a dreaded traditional salesperson.
Relationship Marketing Basics – 3 is the Magic Number
Relationship marketing is a lead generation system in which you grow your business by helping others, specifically the people you already know and trust, who also trust you in return. It’s serving the people who they recommend to you and helping them achieve their goals.
By leading with your heart, you’ll expand your business and that eventually leads to sales. The better you serve your people. The more likely they are to recommend you to their co-workers, friends, neighbors and loved ones.
Humans are very social creatures and we naturally want to share good things with others. That’s why you’re more likely to check out that new Thai restaurant in town that your best friend raved about the other day than go to a restaurant because you saw their ad online.
You’re more likely to check out a must-read life-enhancing book you overheard a co-worker talking about rather than relying on what Amazon or GoodReads recommends.
Put simply, we place far more weight in the opinions and hot-takes of the people we know, like and trust rather than the paid selling points of companies. And why wouldn’t we?
Our loved ones don’t get anything from recommending a product or service or restaurant they love; they do it because they want to share something good/great/fantastic/life-changing with the people they know and care about.
They want to help, whether it’s recommending a great restaurant to make their bestie’s 10th wedding anniversary extra special or to share a book to encourage a neighbor who’s dealing with a tough situation at work.
With all the negativity in the world right now, isn’t it nice just to be nice? Doesn’t it feel fantastic to be of service to someone who needs it, whether or not they realize they do?
The first rule of relationship marketing is seek to serve first.
Lead with authenticity and a heart to help.
Service is more important than any sale. When you focus on service, you’ll look and listen for a need you can fill, whether it’s offering encouraging words or a mantra to make someone’s day or recommending a fiction or nonfiction book that handles their current predicament.
Sometimes life is going awesome for your clients and they need a virtual high five. Whatever it is, keep service in mind.
Authenticity is key.
People are wise to traditional sales methods and will shoot down an obvious sales line right away. If they think you’re being fake – that you’re pretending to care so you can make a sale – you can seriously damage your relationship.
No pair of leggings, lotion, or diet solution can replace a true relationship.
This leads to the second rule of relationship marketing: Your motivation is to help, rather than to make money.
Don’t get us wrong – money is important. Money was most likely what motivated you to start your business in the first place. However, money isn’t everything. While it can make your life more comfortable, it can’t deliver a glowing eulogy at your funeral that leaves nary a dry eye in the church.
And it can make you feel more secure; however, it won’t deliver soup when you’re sick or watch your kids when you have to rush your oldest to the ER when he crashes on his skateboard. No, money is nice, but it’s not all.
Many people start their businesses with the intention of getting rich. They work all the time with the ultimate goal of becoming uber-wealthy, richer than even Oprah Winfrey.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be richer than Oprah; however, you also have to acknowledge that Oprah earned that wealth through hard work, determination and, perhaps most importantly, helping others.
When Oprah gave away her favorite things to her studio audience, she wasn’t thinking “I’m going to be SO RICH!,” she wanted to help make people’s lives better and put a smile on their faces.
When she paid for her Harpo staff to take a destination vacation. There wasn’t anything in it for her other than she wanted to treat her staff to an awesome vacation. Wealthy people often become that way because they seek to help others.
Whether your goal is to emulate Scrooge McDuck and swim in your riches or you want to make just enough to be comfortable, your motivation is the same: To HELP. When you contact people, think about what you can do to help them.
What’s going on in their lives and how can you help? Is there something you can do to make their day a little bit brighter?
One tried and true method is to message them a short note on social media or text to say “hello.”
We all get so busy in our lives that we find we don’t connect with one another as often as we know we should. Reaching out makes the other person feel care for and less alone.
They’re stoked that someone was thinking of them. Add in a smiley face or a word of encouragement to show you care and strengthen the relationship. If in the course of conversation, they mention a need specific to your business – they want to lose weight or they need a great skin cream – then bring up your business or the product that may work for them.
Or, if they mention their boss is a jerk who’s making life difficult for them, then tell them about how you love working for yourself. And you’d like to share more information with them. It’s non-aggressive and it’s part of the natural conversation.
Most importantly, though, it comes from a place of concern – you want to help with what ails them.
You’re not pressuring them to buy; you’re offering a suggestion that may make their lives easier. Isn’t that why you stand behind your brand anyway; because you truly believe it can help others the same way it helped you?
When you approach your relationships with a heart to help, you’ll build on your relationship. If a sale comes out of it, that’s super awesome; if it doesn’t right then, you have a stronger friendship and what’s better than that? Not a whole lot, that’s for sure.
Which leads us to the last rule of relationship marketing: Build relationships first.
Relationships take time to build to the point where you trust one another and feel you have one another’s best interests at heart.
You can’t just go rushing into trying to make a sale or recruitment without making deposits in your relationship piggy bank first. If you put the sale before the relationship, don’t be surprised when the person responds with “New phone. Who dis?”
Put yourself in their shoes. How super annoying is it when someone you barely know starts droning on about a product or “amazing opportunity’” that’ll change your life? The product may very well be amazing and the opportunity may be truly amazing, but the person hasn’t built enough social credit for you to trust them and their judgment.
At that point, their opinion is no better than company-paid advertisement. However, as you get to know one another and develop a friendship, their point of view carries more weight.
So when they mention a product or that great opportunity again, your ear will perk up and you may actually listen this time around.
This may be what your relationships are going through when they hear from you. Since many have been burned by other multi-level marketers, they simply don’t want to hear what you have to offer, at least yet.
Work to build the relationship by maintaining consistent contact just to brighten their days, take an interest in their lives, and find ways to help when you can. Make building the relationship your first priority and the rest will fall into place. Before long, they’ll become walking, talking billboards for your business!
Did you know that Teamzy can help you build your relationships? It’s true.
Not only does it tell you who to contact each day, it also gives you scripts to use to have the greatest impact.
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