Did your last email message gain you a fan or turn away business?
If your thoughts turned immediately to the last customer interaction you had via email, think again. When approaching business from a holistic view, EVERY person you interact with is a potential customer or a referral source. That has never been more true than in this age of social media and hyper-connection.
Recently, I attended a local business fair and connected with four people. The next day, I sent off a brief email to each of the four, shared my appreciation of our connection and sent a link to the content we had discussed, with an invitation for them to check it out. No pitch, just friendly, here’s the info we talked about, sort of thing. Here’s the response I received:
2 – Have not responded within 72 hours
1- Sent a two sentence email saying thanks but no thanks. (No thanks to what? I didn’t ask for anything!)
1- Returned a pleasant email, shared her perception of the information I shared, asked questions, thanked me, etc.
She basically opened a dialogue and we have now exchanged several very nice emails.
Of these four, which do you think I will be inclined to do business with and recommend? In fact, I’m going to link to her website at the end of this article. Because she is nice, thoughtful and took the time to build relationship.
Perhaps in the past, we have played a numbers game, and that is still somewhat relevant, buy far more complex. With social media in the mix, a watered down advertising environment and a movement where personal and online reviews weigh heavily for 70% of the population when making buying decisions, RELATIONSHIP is KEY.
While we may have stepped away from this concept in the reigning days of television and newspaper advertising, the truth is, companies that win have consistently placed relationship with their customers and prospects as a high priority. People do business with people they know, like and trust.
So, the next time you have the opportunity to correspond with ANYONE, bear in mind that developing a relationship of trust and kindness may bear fruit for your business in the short and long term.
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What is the last meaningful exchange that you have received from a person in business?