Conversation went something like this:
“Hey Carson, how’s it going man.. What are you up to today? Nothing… Well, I am wondering if I could ask you a favor? I just got a new Couch and I need to move my old one out of my place.. Can you help me…”
I know that you’ve had this this exact conversation with a friend of yours before! And chances are that you lent a hand and helped move that couch!
What the heck does this have to do with Internet Marketing? Well.. EVERYTHING…
When my buddy asked me to help him out I instantly thought to myself how inconvenient it was, but it didn’t take much for me to say “yes” because I am a friend, and that’s what friends do right? RIGHT.
In the Internet marketing world you have every opportunity to build relationships with people even though you are potentially 1,000’s of miles away. You can become a trusted source to people who visit your website, your articles, or your blog. You can take a complete stranger and turn them into a friend by offering them valuable content that will help them in some way.
A successful Internet marketer in 2010 focuses on has a relationship marketing strategy with their visitors. The key is not only to be nice, but to create a long lasting channel of trust.
Let’s go back to Saturday and replay the conversation but let’s pretend it wasn’t my buddy calling me to ask a favor, but a telemarketer who I don’t have any relationship with.
“Hi Sir, this is someone that you don’t know at all. I’m not only asking you to take the time to talk with me right now, but I’m asking you to take time out of your day to come and help me move an old couch out of my house. On top of that, I’m going to ask that you pay for the delivery truck to take the couch away to the dump”
What would you expect my answer to be (assuming I listened to their spiel)
ABSOLUTELY NOT.. NO WAY IN HELL BUDDY… (as I throw the phone at the wall.. lol)
Bringing it back to Internet marketing.. How is this so different from someone who attracts a visitor to their website (a complete stranger), and asks them to make a purchase? You’re asking people that you don’t know to trust you, and spend their hard earned money purchasing something that you recommend. It will happen, don’t get me wrong. The good ‘ol review site will still convert visitors in to buyers, but not at the rate you could a “friend”.
A relationship marketing strategy is becoming more evident and necessary within the online marketing world. People don’t know who to trust anymore and customers ability to research on the Internet has never been greater. The old “buy this because I say so” tactic no longer holds the same power.
So… how do you take a complete stranger and turn them into a friend? Well, it takes more than just offering valuable content and it’s something that we really push these days within our marketing training. Offering value is the FIRST thing that you must do to get someone to lower their guard slightly and allow you to offer them more value at a later date. But this is not good enough anymore.
Look… there are successful Internet marketers out there that do nothing but promote products to you left right and center. They may just offer you a review, or a comparison, or even just a page telling you about a single product they recommend. That’s fine, but making a recommendation to make a purchase to someone that you’ve built a relationship with will convert much higher than it would from a first time visitor.
You can also keep something else in mind. People tend to naturally reciprocate.
My buddy helped me move into my house a couple years back and although I would have helped him if he didn’t, I remembered that. As you build an online business people will remember you and the value that you gave to them. Maybe people don’t make a purchase from you the first time you make them an offer. Maybe not even the second, third or fourth time. But there will come a time that people will remember back to when you helped them and if they are in a position to make a purchase financially, that purchase will almost surely be yours.
Think about Internet marketing this year with a relationship marketing strategy in mind. It will lead to much greater success and a preparation for a much longer career within the fast evolving IM world.
If you take anything away from this blog post, take the knowledge that offering value to people who you connect with online will ultimately build you a stronger and more profitable business. Build relationships that last by focusing on “helping” versus “selling”. If you treat people like commodities, they won’t react to you in a way that will benefit you in the long run.
So.. Here’s a question for you.
Are you treating visitors to your websites, blogs, or articles as potential friends or another dollar in your pocket?
Let me know in a comment below!
2010 Relationship Marketer – and couch mover!