Over the past 18 months I‘ve been studying why marketing works for some people and not others.
This study has been going on in the background to my day to day business activities. It has included watching what people are doing, analysing the results of clients, peers and competitors and understanding their actions and results.
Over the past month or so I have had numerous “aha” moments and everything has come together:
- It is clear that mindset is NOT the only key to your success.
- It is clear that hustling is not the answer to world domination.
- It is obvious that Facebook marketing doesn’t guarantee you million-dollar success.
- It has become apparent that you can build a successful business even if you don’t write down goals every day.
- It doesn’t matter if you are thin, fat, black or white.
- It doesn’t matter if you approach marketing from an “away from” or “going towards” concept.
- It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert.
- But there is something that does matter. A lot. And it isn’t niching. (Although I still stand by the fact that this is VERY important).
I asked a few clients this week why they have been with our business for more than 3 plus years. Why they now get us to look after their hosting, design their websites and run their LinkedIn marketing for them.
It came down to one word. RELATIONSHIPS.
We had built rock solid relationships with them before they bought from us, and enhanced these relationships as they worked with us.
TRUST was built.
We built relationships at every stage, increasing profits every day.
It doesn’t matter what business you are in, whether you sell widgets or are a numbers whizz in a leading accounting practice. A good relationship with prospects, clients and referral partners will increase your bottom line.
To start building a relationship you need to be clear on who you are going to build relationships with. You do this through understanding who your ideal client is and creating a buyer persona.
When you are clear on who you need to build relationships with, you can then start to map out how you are going to build these relationships.
Successful businesses don’t only communicate with prospects or clients for their success. To make your accounting firm indispensable you need to embrace the Power Of 3 Approach.
The Power Of 3 approach looks at 3 key communities to focus on building. These communities are:
- Prospect Communities
- Client Communities
- Referral Partnership Communities
Why Are They Called Communities?
Community building is a growing need within your marketing. Building a community is a fresh approach that requires a two-way relationship.
Not too long-ago marketing was about buying space in the Yellow Pages, newspaper, on billboards, or airtime on radio and television. All of these methods were one-way communication.
Whilst all of these marketing activities are still in play, social media and digital marketing empowered these audiences, and they started to act in a different way.
People now want to interact, and get involved in your marketing. They want to tweet their favourite brands and connect with their suppliers on LinkedIn.
They want to know who is the face of a business, and being faceless in today’s climate does your firm harm.
These online marketing channels also require you to listen, rather than just throw information out there.
Nurturing is an essential part of the process, and engaging in meaningful conversations is required. There is no way around it, and it involves more effort on your part.
However, as the title of this article ‘Growing Relationships At Every Stage, Increasing Profits Every Day’ implies, there is a substantial return on your investment. This ROI is in the form of advocates and clients.
You can develop strong relationships with prospects, clients and referral partners by getting the basics right. Here are some tips to help you start.
1. Model Your Business On Your Local Pub
My Uncle built his business in the pub. He sold cars for a living. He was however, very rarely in the car showroom, he was too busy down the pub building relationships with other men down the pub.
Don’t get me wrong, the “locals” at the pub were not his “friends”, but they did know each other well. They shared a common interest, knew each other’s names, and knew the schools their children went to and the name of their wives.
The relationships that they built were based on mutual respect for one another. Because of this business was done between them.
Cars were sold.
Insurance was bought.
Books were kept.
Businesses were built.
Entire economies thrived from within that pub.
2. Seek Understanding
Before you even think about selling anything to anyone, seek understanding of what they need/want in life and only then seek to help them. All too often people go with the Inside Out™ approach to marketing, where it’s all about their firm and their services, rather than the prospect and what they might need.
3. Go On Dates
Courting. That’s a novel word considering many people use online dating apps to start a relationship. But all good relationships come from some well-intentioned “woo-ing” and you need to do this with your prospects too. This “woo-ing” enables you to build trust and the “dating” will enable you to connect with your prospects on a whole other level.
4. Share Something Personal
In the Journal Of Consumer Research a study was carried out that highlighted “If a salesperson shares a birthday or a birthplace with you, you are more likely to make a purchase from them”.
Therefore, next time you are thinking that you need to keep yourself to yourself and be super professional, don’t forget that a birthday shared is a relationship grown.
5. Listen With Your Ears
I say listen with your ears because it is so easy to listen to people’s problems by reading them in email or on a smartphone. Relationships are built faster and deeper when proper conversations are had with voices.
6. Give It Time
Marry in haste, repent at leisure. This saying is true with business too. Build relationships over a period of time and be in it for the long game. Good relationships don’t happen overnight. That is why email marketing, social media, and content marketing are so powerful. They enable you to build meaningful relationships with people and stay in touch with them until the time is right for them to exclusively partner with you.
On Facebook you can have your personal relationship status as:
- In A Relationship
- It’s Complicated
You want to build a relationship with your prospects and clients so they feel married to you and committed to the relationship. If you try and marry in haste you will end up in a complicated relationship or worse still, single.
As you can see these tips will help you create two-way conversations with people, build communities and nurture relationships. There is no magic pill to get a flood of new clients.
However, growing relationships at every stage will increase your profits every day.
To download our ebook and get a list of 100 marketing ideas for your accounting practice click here for the 100 Ways To Market Your Accounting Firm
What do we do at TwentyTwo?
At TwentyTwo Agency we specialise in helping you create a strategy, attract ideal prospects, convert them into clients and get remembered and referred. Our specialities include content marketing, blog writing, email newsletter management and social media management. We are a content marketing and digital experience agency for accounting firms. We ensure you get remembered, recommended and referred.
To find out if we can help you, reach out to our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org