You’re going to get my 3 best relationship marketing tips, but know this, I’m not that experienced when it comes to networking and small talk. Actually, I feel that I’m terrible talking to people I don’t already know. I feel lost. I feel uncomfortable. I just want to hide under a table, and crawl back out after everyone has left the room.
But, I understand how powerful relationships are. And I am working hard to accomplish something. I want to be comfortable around people. I want people to smile when they see me, and I want them to remember who I am and think of me as someone they like and enjoy to be with. And I want to share what I know.
I want to make a living helping businesses with marketing.
The next time, before I end up going to a conference, a meetup, or just talking to a random person about business – I’ll interview myself. This way I’ll get to know who I am, so that I will connect with the right people. Second, I’ll get into my customer’s shoes. I’ll try to answer the question; why should they hire me? And finally, I’ll prepare my own questions for the customers.
That’s it. That’s my 3 best relationship marketing tips. I’m thinking that interviewing yourself is an exercise that will be very powerful in networking. I believe that the three most important questions to answer, and at the same time, the most difficult questions, are:
- What are your strengths?
- What would your last client say about you?
- What are your weaknesses?
But, how will the answers to these questions help me?
First, it will highlight what my key benefits are:
- Know what you offer.
- Why you offer it, and
- How you offer it under pressure.
- Know who you are.
I might answer that I am:
Now it’s time to get to know my ideal customer. Who are they?
- Are they middle age?
- Are they female?
- What type of job do they have?
- Why do they need your product?
- What qualities would their ideal company have?
When I compare my interview with who my ideal customers are, do they match? If they do, I am on the right track. If they don’t, I believe that I don’t know my ideal customer well enough or I am marketing the wrong product.
I believe that understanding who I am and who my ideal customers are, before I enter an event, or start talking to a person about business is very important in order to know what I am going to focus on. The last step is to prepare my own set of questions for my contacts. This is how I’ll find out whether they are interesting or not. I don’t have to do business with everyone I meet. I believe that we need to be highly selective in the people we choose to do business with. I really do. Here are two interesting questions I might ask people:
- If you have a very successful 2012, what would that look like?
- what keeps you up at night?
The answers will tell me a lot about a person. First it will tell me how they interpret success and finally, it will tell me how they interpret their weaknesses. Like I said, I’m terrible talking to people I don’t already know. I want to hide under a table and crawl back out after every single person has left the room. But, at the same time, I believe that small talk, and networking can’t be that hard. I just need to know what I want in a business relationship and go after it. I shouldn’t settle for just anyone as a client. The reason I am in business is to make a living, but I shouldn’t let that cloud my judgement. I need to understand my goals in order to develop a lasting partnership.
Are you anything like me, or are you comfortable talking to people you don’t know about business, and do you believe in building relationships in order to get new clients?