5 Tip Tuesday: 5 Ways to Make Relationships the Center of Your Brand

Yes, you know that going to networking events, following up conversations by connecting on LinkedIn and being polite to your clients are all important. But do you know how to make good relationships the center of your brand?

1. Ask not what they can do for you but what you can do for them.

When you approach people with what you can do for them they are much more open to having a positive relationship with you. This seems obvious but often entrepreneurs approach the media, business partners, suppliers and customers with what they can do to help the entrepreneur. Figure out what the other party needs first, deliver that, then assist them in assisting you later. 

2. Conversation, conversation, conversation.

They say the key to real estate value is "location, location, location", similarly, conversation is the key to successful marketing. Conversation is where you learn about your customer: what makes them happy, what they expect from your business, how they approach life etc. Keep the conversation with your customer active and you will be given the answers to all of the questions you have about maintaining a great business relationship. Conversation can be stimulated by taking a Facebook poll, tagging someone in a tweet, inviting an email response, making a phone call or taking someone out for a coffee. Whatever you do, keep the conversation going.

3. Look back

  • Remind people of where and how you met them. It feels good to reminisce and it makes a bond stronger. 
  • Review the reasons your relationship began and why it continues. Tell you customers what they mean to you and remind them of the value you have brought to them. Facebook does a great job of doing this with an end of year photo slideshow it posts to users' timelines. Try to make some similar highlight reel for your customers and show them how far your relationship has come. 
  • Reward your loyal supporters. Rewards programs are an excellent way of  thanking your long-time customers for their continued support. 

4.  Acknowledgment

Everyone loves to be seen, heard and acknowledged. Shout out those special customers, friends, supporters, vendors who have helped you achieve your business goals. Name a new product after a client that reflects your company's mission. Publicly thank a special vendor that has added value to your brand. 

5. Show some affection

Get personal with your valued customers. This doesn't mean you invade someone's personal space but definitely use the information you learn in your conversation to show some positive attention to their personal life. Send a handwritten postcard to congratulate your client on his wedding. Call your favourite vendor on her birthday. Invite your best friend to a networking event he is curious about even if it doesn't benefit you. 

Developing and maintaining great relationships is one of the things your brand's reputation depends on. Do what it takes to ensure relationships are not only part of your branding strategy but the center of it. To receive a customized coaching session to improve the relationships you have wit your customers, vendors and friends book a consultation with me today. 

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