You may have noticed that I sold something last week.
We had a couple of spaces for a couple more Private Clients, so I sent out three emails over about five days, and filled them.
Simple as that right?
Well, yes and no.
See, the sale WAS easy to make. We sent out an email, drove the email traffic to a sales letter and got some applications in. I called the applications, and they decided to come on board.
But to pretend that that’s all there is to making a sale would be misleading.
Because although it wasn’t too difficult to get some people to buy what I wanted to sell, it was only made easy because of the work I’d done before I got to that point.
Since November, we’ve emailed 17 valuable pieces of content to our list. We’ve also sent out a hard copy of the “The Mark Creaser Letter” every month to everyone who’s opted in for it.
In short, we’ve given a lot of value to our list on a regular basis.
As Ryan Deiss would put it, we’ve made a lot of deposits.
As marketers, it’s vital that we understand that our relationships with our lists are like bank accounts.
Every time we make a sale, we withdraw from that account.
Every time we do something that builds trust and adds value, we make a deposit.
The mistake so many of us make as business owners is viewing our lists as an unlimited source of sales that won’t run out.
I’m sure – like me – you’ve been on the receiving end of these sorts of relationships with businesses who treat you like this.
Businesses that look to make withdrawal after withdrawal, even after the relational capital has long since dried up. (In many cases, with new businesses, the relational capital never existed in the first place)
In many ways, they’re like that “friend” who only calls you when they need a favour.
We’ve all got these friends. But the question is, how do we feel about them?
Do we feel close to them? Do we have a good relationship with them? Do we trust them?
If you’re only ever contacting your customers and prospects when you want them to give you some money, then your account with them will run dry pretty quickly.
But if you’re focused on building relational capital with your list, and providing them with useful and valuable stuff that enables them to know, like and trust you; when you go to make a withdrawal, you’ll find it much easier to turn that relational capital into monetary capital.
So how do you build this relationship capital?
As with most things, it goes back to market, message, media.
Seek to really, really understand your market. What do they want? How can you help them? What are they seeking advice and help with? What keeps them up at night?
Once you properly understand your market, you’re in a much better position to provide them with content that they will value; content that will help them, and content that will build the relationship between you and them.
If you’re continuing to make those sorts of relational deposits into your customer list, when it comes to making a withdrawal you’ll find them a lot more receptive to it.
It’s a cliché, but it’s a fact: it’s all about relationships. And when we’re looking to build our businesses, it’s vital we remember that.