When I was a kid, my mom taught me to treat others as you would like to be treated. Great advice right? It’s too bad that as entrepreneurs we have a hard time keeping with that sentiment.

What do I mean? Relationship marketing words of wisdom coming in 3…2…1…

We talk a lot about relationship marketing because we believe in it 100%. Members of Blue Cricket Media live daily by the golden rule of being helpful and giving to each of our clients and yes…taking a personal interest in their business and successes.

Why? Aside from that’s what my mom said to do…it comes back to us tenfold.

How many times have you seen in-your-face advertisements, promotional messages, requests to buy buy buy, or emails that felt spammy? I can tell you that for me it’s daily, and I never get a warm fuzzy feeling when it happens.

Here’s a little known fact. People do not buy just your product or service. They are, in fact, buying you. Yes, you, the person. And we aren’t talking about just business owners. Relationship marketing and selling happens with every employee in the company, right down to the intern getting your coffee.

There are a thousand companies just like yours...just like ours...but not exactly. The difference is in the connection. Click To Tweet

Our business is driven through heart, authenticity, and the relationships we build from day one with our clients. Truly, even before they are clients. We are building one with you right now!

Now, I’m not saying we never post promotional messages, and we certainly are known to throw an ad out to the world (we’d be crazy not to!), but its a small part of our business model. At the top of our priority list, is YOU. Just like in real life personal relationships, if you only focus on what you can get rather than what you can give, you are doomed to fail.

Business life is no different.

Let’s take business referrals for example. Do you have to beg your clients to refer you to their peers, or have you built the connection with them that they simply refer people to you, almost as if you were a friend?

Relationship marketing makes that possible by keeping you at the top of their mind. When you are at the top of their mind, they are more likely to tell their friends, colleagues and even strangers about you and your business.

What happens if you leave the relationship out of the marketing?

A lot of companies, especially newer ones in the start-up phase, tend to make the biggest mistake of all. They get so caught up in “selling” their product and meeting their own internal goals, that they completely forget about the customer. In fact, there’s mass amounts of confusion when it comes to selling versus marketing.

The Difference Between Selling and Marketing

Selling is about convincing someone to buy your product or service and collecting their money. Marketing is supportive of that effort, but is so much more. Add relationship building to that and you have the key to making it all work.

Look, I get it. If you are a sales person, you are probably rolling your eyes right now and telling yourself all marketing is pointless if it doesn’t directly lead to a sale. It can be a hard concept to grasp, especially if you’ve been conditioned to treat marketing like it has for the past 20 or 30 years. That’s how it’s always been, right?

But times are changing. If you fight the way consumers demand to be treated, no amount of hard marketing or selling is going to convince them to buy from you.

Here’s the hard truth…advertisements and promotional campaigns are only a small fraction of marketing. Sure, advertising can help you build up your position in your industry market, but it can’t give you the strong position for your business in the first place.

The key isn’t more MORE marketing; it’s BETTER marketing.

Relationship marketing revolves entirely around the relationship you have with your customer. It’s based on their perception of you, your interactivity with them, their connection with you, and how much you are invested in THEM.

Too many companies are still trying to market like it’s the 90s.  Did I just age myself? Well, I will take one for the team to get the point across. I’m just a few years away from 50, and, let me tell you, I remember how it used to be.

I remember how the main goal of the mass majority of businesses was to lure me into their marketing message, trick me into buying something based on a false sense of loyalty with some new crazy ad campaign, and most of the time left me with a slightly lighter pocketbook and absolutely no loyalty of any kind to them.

It’s 2021, and you just can’t operate that way anymore. Consumers are smart. They know when they are being “sold,” and their “BS” radar has been quite honed in on. They see it coming a mile away.

The choice is yours. You can choose to remain stagnant, behind the current trends, and disconnected from your customers, or you can bridge the gap between your business and your customers with a thoughtful, authentic and relationship centric connection. Create that connection between you and your customers, and the rest will take care of itself.

About the Author: Misty Spears

Misty Spears is the CEO of Blue Cricket Media and Chief Coffee Drinker. She is passionate about marketing and loves helping businesses grow into great success stories. She has more than 10 years working with an IT focus in the multifamily and education industries and truly enjoys working one-on-one with other CEO's to grow their business and increase ROI. You can find her on Twitter to hear about her latest adventure, favorite coffee bars or bragging on her amazing shoe collection.

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