It may seem to many that sales is the most important part of doing business. After all, without sales, you don't have a business. It is not, however. In fact, sales people might actually be more effective if they instead embraced the ultimate goal of marketing: to create connection. Selling a person on a certain product may make you a sale, but creating a connection with your customer can create a customer, not just a sale. Here are 7 proven ways of creating connection with your customers.
There are many ways in which the same behaviors that create great personal relationships also apply to business. Noted relationship expert John Gottman has made a science of understanding what creates strong, long-lasting marriages. One of the critical relational components he has discovered is something he calls an "emotional bid." In essence, an emotional bid is when one partner seeks the attention or support of the other and the other partner "turns towards" them or is responsive to them. When you "turn towards" or respond to your clients and consumers, you are letting them know that they matter.
Once again, creating connection with your customers follows many of the same principles as creating a connection in any other relationship. What all businesses want is to make sales. That is kind of a given and it's what people expect. But no one likes that person who only calls or shows up when they want something. You don't want your business to be that "person" either. Whether it is via email, social media or SMS messaging, check in regularly with your customers just to let them know about any exciting changes happening in your business, not just when you want them to buy something.
3. Get to know them
One of the best ways to create a connection with your consumers is to get to know their wants, needs and desires. In some cases, you may even get to know their hopes and dreams. We all want to be seen and known, we want to know that the brands we follow are also our ardent supporters as well. Whether it is through surveys, social media exchanges or other forms of data collection, get to know your clients and consumers as best you can. The better you know them, the better you will be able to meet their needs.
92% of consumers now read online reviews, with 40% of them forming an opinion after reading just one to three reviews. Those online reviews aren't just influencing other customers, however, they should be influencing you. The complaints of your customers can provide you a veritable gold mine of information, so don't just brush them under the rug, listen to them.
The more you can make people feel like you are reaching out to them personally and specifically, the more connection your consumers will feel to your brand. This is also called brand loyalty. SMS marketing may be one of the most effective forms of marketing because it is personal. While only 20-40% of emails will ever get opened, up to 98% of SMS messages will. If a customer is willing to give you their phone number, it means they want to hear from you - so use it.
6. Narrow your scope
All too often, businesses feel that the larger the audience they reach, the more impact they will have. Some of the largest corporations on the globe, however, actually target a very specific and very narrow demographic. Global conglomerates like Apple and Nike actually only seek to appeal to a very small and very select target demographic. It just turns out that their product doesn't just appeal to the people actually in that demographic, they also appeal to a much larger group of people that want to be in it.
7. Get face-to-face
There is a reason that some of the biggest brands still have brick and mortar stores even if they could easily move to an online only business. In fact, many online only brands are actually opening brick and mortar stores. Why? Because as much as we love the ease and convenience of online shopping, we still crave personal connection. Yes, we can easily look up all the specs on hundreds of TV's online, but deep down, we still want to look into someone eyes and ask their opinion. We value knowledge and expertise and we want a sherpa to sometimes guide us through the decision making process.
Filed under: Life