Twenty years ago if you needed a particular service you would open your Yellowpages and let your fingers do the walking. You may have even asked a trusted friend or neighbor for a recommendation based on their experience hiring someone for the same service you now need.
Fast forward 20 years to the present day and age…Folks still shop that way, except now the “phone book” is electronic, globally connected, lightning fast, and called Google. And your “trusted friends and neighbors,” they’re readily available online to offer reviews and recommendations via social media.
Compared to 20 years ago, today’s consumers are so heavily bombarded with all sorts of ads, both on- and off-line, that it’s no wonder the consumer fights tooth and nail to be in control of how they’re marketed to…often ignoring interruptive forms of marketing like telemarketing or TV/Radio commercials and even email to a large extent.
So, how can your company market itself in a way that is less interruptive and can gain the attention of those looking for your products/services? By fostering and building relationships both on- and off-line.
Relationships are at the heart of selling anything. Relationships will be strengthened if you happen to also deliver a great product/service (I know it’s obvious, but still needs to be mentioned). What I’m saying is that online relationship building (via internet marketing including blogging and social media) can enhance and supplement off-line, more traditional, relationship building activities, of which most are familiar.
As the Duct Tape Marketing Founder John Jantsch touts, prospective customers need to know, like and trust you to want to do business with you. You also have to give them an easy way—by which they feel in control—to build those relationships (social media allows for this).
So how can you improve your relationship building to generate leads to sell more products/services? Use the new “phone book,” and all its available resources.