It’s about relationships.
Business today is about relationships. People shop where they have a relationship.
Relationships start with permission. The potential buyer grants permission to enter a dialogue. The business must tread lightly in the early stages of this dialogue. The goal is to build a relationship with the potential buyer. As the prospect learns about your business (you really), the relationship grows or terminates.
If the relationship grows, you gain a customer.
How do you build a relationship? It starts at your website. Do you have a means for the prospect to grant you permission to dialogue? Is all your contact information easy to find? Don’t hide from your customers or your prospects.
Even the largest business can do this. Amazon does it. They’re huge. Buy a couple of books and you’ll get recommendations for other books, the opportunity to review books, a wish list and a ‘one click buy it now’ option. You’re in a relationship. A smaller business can do it with personal contact.
It takes more work to build a relationship than it does to make sales by advertising but it’s a lot cheaper. Seen an Amazon ad lately?
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog