Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 520

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 535

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 542

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 578

Deprecated: Function set_magic_quotes_runtime() is deprecated in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 18

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1244

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1442

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/cache.php on line 431

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Dependencies in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/class.wp-dependencies.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Http in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 61

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/wiz/public_html/wp-settings.php:520) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 119

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/wiz/public_html/wp-settings.php:520) in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 119

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class ftp_base in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/lib/ftp_class.php on line 56

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class ftp in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/lib/ftp_class_sockets.php on line 8

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method GoogleSitemapGeneratorLoader::Enable() should not be called statically in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339
Marketing Speaker, Jim Ackerman Reveals the Demonstrable Power of Relationships | Marketing Wizard's Alliance

Marketing Speaker, Jim Ackerman Reveals the Demonstrable Power of Relationships

By Jim Ackerman · Friday, January 20th, 2012

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method GA_Filter::the_content() should not be called statically in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

Strict Standards: Non-static method GA_Filter::ga_parse_article_link() should not be called statically in /home/wiz/public_html/wp-content/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/googleanalytics.php on line 406

I have, over the last several years, had the opportunity to work with a number of businesses, all in the same industry. The same segment of the retail industry, as a matter of fact.

Some of these retailers I worked with concurrently; others consecutively. And the experiences have led me to one inescapable, fully documentable conclusion…

If you’re not cultivating strong relationships with your clientele,
you are leaving thousands – even tens of thousands of dollars – on the table,
and risking the prosperity, and probably the survival, of your enterprise.

Here is the uncontestable truth… Good marketing is exponentially better when you have strong customer relationships.

In fact, BAD marketing is exponentially better when you have strong customer relationships, it’s just harder to tell.

Case in point. I worked with a half dozen jewelers in North Carolina. I recommended each do very similar, private sale promotions. And when I say very similar, I’m not kidding. The invitations were almost identical in many ways. The heading at the top of the page was the same. Much of the copy of the letter was the same.

Really, the only difference from one to the next was the specific, price and item offers contained. But while the merchandise being highlighted was different, the relative values were very similar. Deep discounts, a wide variety, multiple price points.

Now it needs to be said that all of these promotions were successful beyond what these merchants had been used to. Response rates varied between 6.5% — which anyone with experience will acknowledge is two or three times “normal” — and a whopping, through-the-roof 40%.

And here’s the thing… In the three lower-performing shops, the rates were all in the 6.5 to 8 percent range. But the three higher-performing shops got dramatically better results – 16.75%, 20%, 40%.

What caused such a magnificent difference? I contend it was relationship. Quality of customer relationship is a predictor of marketing effectiveness.

The better the relationship going in, the greater the response rate will be to any promotional effort.

In the case of the top-performing retailers, each had strong, established relationships with the clients they were inviting to participate in the event. When the invitations arrived, the clients didn’t see them as a cheap ploy to get them back in the store. In fact, they felt honored just to be invited to such an exclusive event.

In each of the three lesser-performing retailers, they had previously admitted to me that they once had good customer relationships, but they had let that slip over the recent several years.

Not only, therefore, did the relationship-based merchants realize a better response rate, but they also closed more sales for more money per sale.
The tale of the tape bears out my main premise. All marketing works better if it is backed up by a strong client relationship that has been pre-established.

Now lest you think this applies only to retail jewelers, I assure you, it applies across the board. I’ve seen the same phenomenon in manufacturing operations, wholesalers, service companies and professionals.

The question then becomes, how do you establish and maintain those relationships. There are a number of ways…

  1. Say thank you for the business. And not just at check-out. Send a thank you note.
  2. Render extra-mile service at every opportunity. And remind the client that you have done so, and what the value of that extra service is, when appropriate
  3. Educate clients about your products, services, company and industry, on a regular basis. Easily done now-days through an email or e-zine. But if you want to get a little more elaborate, open a YouTube channel and do it through video.

But here’s the single, most important thing you can do to cultivate a rock-solid relationship with your already existing customers or clients…

Sell them something else…

That’s right. Keep selling to them.

If you fail to continue to SELL to your customers, they’ll fail to continue to BE your customers.

Selling to them is a demonstration that you care about them. Selling to them is how you tell them you want to bring additional value into their lives. Solving their problems through your products and services is the glue that binds them to you; that makes them value YOU.

I endorse those thank you notes… and the best of my clients include a bounceback coupon on his thank you notes, to encourage buyers to come back for more.

Birthday and anniversary offers, private sales, several other promotions during the course of each year. Depending on the nature of your business, don’t let more than a quarter go by without some kind of solicitation. In most situations monthly offers are appropriate. In some cases, more.

“But Jim, I have 18 stores across 5 states! How can I possibly build relationships with all those customers?”

I’m tempted to say, “I don’t know. You figure it out.”

But I won’t. Instead, I’ll point to Nordstroms. Their salespeople are encouraged to develop relationships with customers. They’re trained on how to do it and how to make salesmanship and exceptional customers service blend into one. Which they should be anyway.

If Nordstroms can do it, so can you. It will take training. It will take a consistent and concerted efforted… It will take time.

But the time will pass anyway. The question is, are you using the time to improve your relationships – and therefore your marketing – or are you frittering it away.

One more thing… if you want client relationships set in granite, ask them for and get from them, referrals. Once they refer a friend, you’ve got ‘em for good, and you’ll be theirs.

Success,

Jim

P.S. If you want to get a program in place that enables you to consistently market to your existing clients, and consistently express your appreciation to them. I recommend SendOutCards. In fact, I so believe in their service, they have been made Preferred Vendors in The Marketing Wizards Alliance, which allows me to rebate to you, 25% of their initial set-up charges. Contact me for more details at mail@ascendmarketing.com. Subject Line: SOC Info.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Ackerman is a Salt Lake City-based Marketing Speaker, Marketing Coach, author and ad writer. For Jim’s speaking services go to www.marketingspeakerjimackerman.com Subscribe to his VLOGS at www.YouTube.com/MarketingSpeakerJimA, where you get a video marketing tip o’the day, and at www.YouTube.com/GoodBadnUglyAds, where Jim does a weekly ad critique and let’s you do the same.

Get Exclusive Marketing Tips FREE

To receive exclusive updates and information available ONLY
to our subscribers, fill out the fields below...

Name
Email

Subscribe in a reader
 

Leave a Comment