5 Ways to Build Relationships in Your Market

how to build business relationships

There are many ways you can build relationships in your target market. You want your prospects and customers to not only remember you, but come to appreciate you, and look forward to hearing from you.

Here are five of the best ways to do that.

1. E-Newsletter

This can be your most valuable relationship-building tool, if used strategically. Why? It goes directly to your in-house mailing list regularly (your in-house list, by the way, is the most important marketing asset you have).

That keeps your business name in front of your market on a regular basis, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly.

The key is to be sure to give your readers information they see as valuable, helpful or even entertaining. If you only talk about yourself or only try to make a sale, they’ll learn quickly and stop opening—or worse, add you to their spam list.

2. Social Media

Choose two or three social media venues and be engaged. Ask for and reply to comments, and direct your fans back to your website.

How do you know which venues? Find out where your market hangs out. Is your audience women? Teens? Seniors? Other businesses? The different social media platforms attract different users so you’ll want to do some research.

Some businesses have found social media channels to boost their business substantially. Others have found it fairly anemic.

Some of the difference is undoubtedly in how the social media program is run. But it could be your target market too—are they on social media and where?

3. Personal Email or Phone Call

This and the following two will vary with the type of business you have and who your market is. They’re more personal, which means two things: more time-consuming, but also more effective.

It only takes two minutes to send a short personal email to a valued client. A congratulations on an award…thanks for a recent contract or referral…even a happy birthday greeting.

If you’d rather chat, a short personal phone call to check in is always appreciated. Even leaving a message shows an effort on your part to connect.

4. In-Person Interaction

Depending on your business and market this may not be possible. But meeting face-to-face at least once in a business relationship can be very powerful.

And it doesn’t have to be one customer at a time. A local garden center I know hosts customer appreciation picnics two or three times a summer. My mother-in-law just told me of their financial management company hosting a barbeque for their clients.

I like to meet with my clients in-person at least once. While phone calls and emails work fine, there’s nothing like shaking hands and being in the same room for relationship building.

5. Personal Thank You Note

In these days of digital everything, how often do you get a hand-written note in the mail anymore? It might take you five minutes to jot a brief line or two, address the envelope and put a stamp on it.

It stands out from the crowd, and it’s remembered.

These types of interactions with your clients and customers can be grouped together under the banner of Relationship Marketing.

I go into more detail about this in a of report available as pdf downloads. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, go ahead and grab it today:

Relationship Marketing Ideas for Outdoor Organizations