It’s all about Relationships.
I’m reading a phenomenal book entitled Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss. In the book, he said something that really resonated with me. He said the value of your products and services pale in comparison to the value of the relationship your clients have with you.
You can get out of the commodity game if customers truly trust you and believe you have their best interests in mind. He cites an example of a Mercedes dealership he has frequented for years. It’s exactly 25 miles from his house. The nearest dealership is only five miles from his house, but he has a long standing relationship with the salesperson at the dealership furthest away. The salesperson calls him on occasion, takes him to lunch and is genuinely interested in him and his family.
He can get the same car at probably the same price at the dealership near his house, but the the trust and rapport he has with the salesperson is paramount.
So here are a few ways to use the power of social media to strengthen our relationships with our customers. It’s probably the single most important way to use social media for business.
- An article you wrote or found that you thought would offer value. Send it DIRECTLY to them through a LinkedIn message, Facebook message or email.
- A LinkedIn Recommendation
- An introduction through LinkedIn (or email) to a person who could be of value to them.
- A mention on one of your social media profiles about them or their company. Something like “We are very fortunate to have a top notch client like _______. They are the leaders in the ________ industry and you’d be in good hands if you should ever need _______.”
- A private message via social media or email just showing appreciation for their business.
- A text! Yes, that counts too! You have their cell number, right? :O)
A question you might have is why wouldn’t I just pick up the phone and call them. This does not substitute for a face to face meeting or phone call. But you should be connecting with your clients in multiple ways – both offline and online. Your customers don’t always have time for a phone call. But they will read an email or Facebook message. And it doesn’t have to lose effectiveness just because it’s over the web.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and questions.
All the best,
Photo credit: dedicatedbusinessassistant.com