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Lets Get Personal

Building strong customer relationships

Most of you know that relationships are the key to getting and maintaining clients/customers.

However, how many of you are actually putting this knowledge into action with your business?

You've gone to the effort of finally getting qualified potential customers to your site and they sign-up for your newsletter. Great! But wait, what is the first impression they get? A confirmation email that looks like it was written by an emotionless robot: "Thank-you for subscribing, the next issue will arrive shortly." or worse "Thanks for subscribing, while your waiting for the first issue, why not read a few ads that we've placed in our auto-responder" Nothing turns me off more than trying to be sold when I sign up for a "free" newsletter.

If we know relationships are the key to long-term clients, why aren't we starting to build it right away? Open the lines of communication with your new subscribers. Most people who sign up for my newsletter get an email back from me, hand typed (as opposed to claw or hoof typed I guess) saying not only thank-you, but asking what line of business they're in. It not only helps me get a pulse of what my subscribers do, it also begins to plant the seed for a relationship. We start to get to know each other and down the road if an offering of mine sounds interesting, they might buy it, if not, I've met one more person in this world that runs a business.

Quick Tips:

Ask an open-ended question focused on a relevant issue (i.e., if you run a tax newsletter, ask them about how do they feel about the amount of tax they've paid this past year)

If you use an auto-responder, you can still make it personal but also admit that although it is an automated response, you actually care about their answer

When they reply, keep the conversation going! I've met friends, new clients and people that I've hired and bought from, all because we got to know each other.

Scott Stratten is the President of Un-Marketing, a firm that works with business owners to help them become customer magnets. He uses proven methods of successful marketing to increase awareness and sales both within a company's current customer base and new ones. He recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Fast Company and his articles have been published all over the world. Find out more about Scott at Un-Marketing .

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