I've got a question for you. You want to make more money? It's easy. Just start a relationship.
Now the next question is, what business are you in? If you really think about it, I can answer that for you, because all of us are in the same business. No matter what kind of business you run, we are all in the relationship business, and one of my major focuses is relationship marketing. So, let me kind of explain relationship marketing and I'll give you five steps that you can use to help create a bigger influence with people.
I was talking with a client and we're talking about getting Google reviews. Now, he's done well. He's got close to a hundred of them. But the question is, how do I get more Google reviews?
The simplest way to get more Google reviews is to bribe people (but Google frowns on that of course). One of the things that I've heard people do is they say, “Hey, if you give me a Google review right now, I'm going to give you $25 off your bill.” Okay, that's not bad. But if you reach into your pocket and you pull out a $10 Amazon gift card and say, “Hey, if you write me a Google review right now, I'll give you this $10 gift card.” Which one of those two things do you think is going to motivate somebody more?” What's more valuable and motivating… 25 bucks off of my bill or $10 on a gift card? The thing that motivates people more is the gift card. It has a tangible value and they can use it to go buy toys on Amazon for themselves. $25 off your services sounds like you raised your prices and then discounted them back. So that's one of the keys in the relationship business. How do you create a higher perceived value without spending a ton more money or a ton more time?
Is LinkedIn The New Business Tinder?
One of my favorite places to engage in relationship marketing, especially since I'm in the B2B space, is on LinkedIn. If you're in the consumer space, maybe Facebook or Instagram is your thing.
I consider LinkedIn to be the Tinder of networking. Okay, wait, what's Tinder? It's a place where you swipe to look for a date, right? That can be a good thing, could be a bad thing, could be a creepy thing. Depends on how you look at it. But the reason I say it's Tinder is because people tend to put up a higher perceived look of themselves. They try to make themselves look as good as they possibly can.
So when you're trying to make connections on LinkedIn, wouldn't it behoove you to make yourself look as good as possible without, of course, lying, because that would come back to bite you just like it would in Tinder? You don't say that you're 5'6″, 180 pounds when you're really 5'2″ and 250, right?
So it's the same thing with LinkedIn. You have to create a profile that makes people stop when they're swiping and looking at things and when they're researching you throughout the process. It has to have a good picture. It has to have a good headline. It has to have good information that acts like that $10 card that has value. Keep that in the back of your mind as we go through the next few steps.
Now I want to cover the five to-do's when it comes to relationship marketing:
- Get personal
Let's start with network. You've got to get out there. Now, granted, you may not be able to be everywhere. Maybe your clients are in LA and you're in New York. Maybe that's just the way it is. But you have to treat social media as if you were in a face-to-face environment. What you want to do is listen. You want to see what people are saying. You want to be an ear to people first. You don't want to be out there just selling yourself. Think about Tinder; somebody swipes and all of a sudden sends you this message, “I love you. I want to get married.”
Well, that's the way a lot of people treat LinkedIn. They make a connection, and the first thing they do is go on and say, “Hey, I sell this. Do you want to buy it?” No. I had a guy do that the other day with virtual assistants who had a virtual assistant agency, “Hi. What's your feeling on virtual assistants?” “I love them. I have five of them and I also work with a lot of big companies that actually do that work.” “Oh, okay.” He didn't take any time to get to know me. He didn't listen. He didn't really do anything other than try to make a connection. It's not the way it works. Now, when I'm out networking, I use Evernote. I could take a picture of somebody's business card and then immediately after I do that it does OCR. It actually fills in their name and their email and all that stuff and it will send them an email and all the email says is, “Hi, nice to meet you. Here's my contact info.”
80% of the people that get that email actually respond. Another feature included within the paid version of Evernote, a lot of times, is a link to connect on LinkedIn. So I'd click it and see if we can make a connection there. So that's number two, make a connection. Connect with people on LinkedIn. Be personable and reach out to say, “Hi, nice to meet you.” That's it. Don't go in there selling. Go in there just to start the relationship.
Now, the next thing that you can do is research somebody. Go look and find out what are they doing on LinkedIn. Take a look at their posts. Take a look at their friends. Take a look at everything. If they look like they might be a good connection for you, a potential client, check out everything you possibly can, even other social media. Look at their Facebook, look at their Twitter. Just do a little research.
Don't go creepazoid on it. Don't friend them everywhere, but just kind of see what's going on.
The next thing that you have to do is maintain that relationship, and the easiest way to maintain it is stay top of mind. I use social media posts to keep myself in their awareness circle so they'll see things that I post. Maybe they'll comment on it. Maybe they'll like it. We'll see what happens. One of the tools I use is Nimble, and I've got a great guest coming up talking about using CRMs and Nimble and how to use that to maintain relationships. But the bottom line is to do your research, and find out more about them before you take it to the next level.
The last piece of this is to get personal. After you've had a chance to do a little research, get to know them, maybe even send them a couple of emails and find out what's happening or send them a message in LinkedIn or wherever, maybe you want to set up a phone call or a face-to-face meeting. If you just go in right off the bat and do that, it's definitely a sales pitch. If you do it at a later time and say, “Hey, I'd like to get on the phone for 15 minutes.” They already know you. They may even like you. They may not trust you, but at least you've got those first two steps. Part of the relationship building is doing all the courting things that I was talking about before, like in dating. Then you go in and try to get the phone call or get the personal meeting. That's where the magic happens.
Let me leave you with three final thoughts. Number one, we're all in the relationship business, so realize that relationships take time. You don't meet somebody in a bar, tap them on the shoulder and say, “Hey, let's get married,” right? Number two, it's an investment. It's an investment of your time. It's an investment of their time. Make sure that investment has value, and if it does have value, then act on the opportunity. But make sure there's an ROI for both you and them.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
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