How to effectively leverage relationships to grow your business
Welcome back to the Marketing DELI (Differentiate, Engage, Leverage and Integrate). If this is your first visit, you’ve walked right past the “Differentiate” cooler and the “Engage” counter. Both offer some delicious insights. Now, join us at the “Leverage” bar. It’s far back in the quieter area where, like our marketing, we may not visit as often as we should.
Although the myth that we only use 10 per cent of our brains is being debunked, the same could be said for our marketing leverage – odds are good we’re not using our assets to their fullest advantage.
Yet, effective leverage is one of our most powerful resources: nearly all businesses have built up a natural store of opportunities which, thoughtfully explored, can lead to more business for minimal effort.
Cultivate relationships, not sales. As we move toward the oft-termed “new normal” after COVID, this will hold especially true.
How can satisfied customers generate more business? It starts with exploring the “upsell” – what do you currently have that they may need? Offer a price or other advantage to them as preferred customers.
Relationships with customers can be leveraged without selling them anything else, of course. Does your business have a solid referral program that encourages customers to suggest you to friends and family? Beware the kickback promise: research shows people don’t give referrals for freebies and prizes. Canadians refer because we genuinely want to help someone. The best referral marketing program may be simply to regularly ask customers to refer you if they like you, and to say thank you when they do.
And, don’t forget to ask happy customers for a quick testimonial or quote that you can share on your website, social media and other marketing. One client of ours recently started snapping “satisfied selfies” for their Facebook page. Smart.
A business’s relationships don’t end with the customer, either. Successful businesses leverage their relationship with employees (hint: it starts with being a good employer), suppliers and vendors (hint: there’s more to it than asking them to donate swag for a company BBQ).
Play it again. And again.
Content marketing continues to be effective. Doing it well can take time – research, coordinating interviews, writing, perhaps some video clips. You want informative, interesting content with a clear point of view. At Letter M, we’re about to embark on some interesting content development approaches – stay tuned.
Once you’ve worked hard to build that content, the secret, then, is to “leverage” what you’ve created – repurpose it as much as possible in your marketing: for example, this series has already been published in a trade magazine. I’ve reworked it into a series of shorter blog posts and made it more generalized for a different market. Those will be shared via TLM’s social media channels with still shorter “snips” of information – all from the same original content.
Don’t forget to see what materials you already have that you can repurpose and Leverage at the Marketing DELI!
And don’t miss our next and final visit to the Marketing Deli where we will stop by the Integrate booth to complete our marketing meal.