Despite being able to have tens of thousands of connections via social media, email, and blogs, the importance of building relationships has never been more important. Why? Because connections in and of themselves do not make your cash register ring. However, when you cultivate connections, you can build real relationships, and you can turn a prospect into a long-term customer. Here’s how to help a prospect become a customer.
Prospects don’t care about how amazing your product is. What they need is to solve a problem. Be clear with your prospect about how your products or services can help her. If you provide an easy solution, right when she is feeling pain, she’ll be an instant convert.
Respond to Queries.
Build a bridge by answering questions; this helps you create value for prospects. Also if one customer has a question, many others probably do too. Make it a priority to respond to queries quickly and personably via phone, chat, social media, or email. This is your first opportunity to make a connection with a lead.
Share Beneficial Information.
Your content marketing strategy should center around providing useful resources for potential customers. Veer away from too much self promotion and instead focus on providing how-to advice, and giving customers a reason to look further at your product or service.
Maintain a Professional Demeanor.
Once prospects see you’re not just “a company,” but are in fact a person who is really passionate about helping them achieve their goals, the relationship changes and they see you in a new light. Don’t be afraid to be a little personal via your marketing messages, but don’t cross over that line of being unprofessional.
Create Entertaining Newsletters.
Don’t just send out coupons and sales notices. Newsletters can be a great way to stay in front of your audience. Caution: if you think of them as advertisement or a one-way communication, you will miss a great opportunity. Your newsletter should be full of content that offers value to your readers. This will make them want to share it with friends. You will easily double your audience when you succeed at this!
Interact on Social Media.
While social media may feel like broadcasting to an empty theater, it becomes more of a conversation once you build your following. When someone comments on your updates, acknowledge it. Depending on the social site, you may even look for people who discuss issues related to your product and dive into the conversation in a meaningful way. Remember, only comment if you can help.
Listen to Your Prospects.
Listening is more than hearing. If your prospect tells you that she needs something more from you, think about how you can meet that need. Of course, not everyone is reasonable, but don’t reject requests out of habit because you’ll miss an opportunity to bring more value to your audience.
Why is all of this valuable to your business long term?
All of these practices, in their essence, help you earn your prospect’s trust. When someone who trusts you becomes a customer they will stick with you over time. You build relationships through repeated actions, and living your brand promise. When you continuously demonstrate your trustworthiness, your customers will depend on you and refer you to others.