At the end of that algorithmic nightmare is another human being and their perceived needs. And whether you're selling marmalade or jeans, I can teach you a few simple guidelines to ensure you're nurturing relationships in a way that is authentic to you and your company. It's easy to think that marketing and sales strategies are one-size-fits-all. But remember the wise words of E-v-e: "I do what they can't do, I just do me."
- When you're thinking about your marketing and sales strategy as a way to meet your financial goals, it can often feel overwhelming to consider how many people we need to connect with to make that a reality. Focus and start where you are.
- Audit your own personal connections. The best place to start is with your personal connections as a reflection of how well you do with connecting and nurturing relationships. I have observed repeatedly that those that grow online, only do so as an amplification of their relationships IRL.
- Know who you want to be connecting to. Oftentimes, we find ourselves wanting to reach an audience that we aren't currently connected to. Like making new friends on the first day of school ;) It requires stepping into the unknown.
- Be curious and test your assumptions. Most of us think we know our customers, but often we don't know them as well as we should. We often see people in the image of ourselves instead of the truth of who they are. (#tweetthat. JK don't use twitter.)
- Think benefits not features. As entrepreneurs who begin a business from a trade practice, we can often fetishize the features and the process of our production. We're stuck in our own experience. We forget about the human on the receiving end and what's most important to them: how they feel when they experience our product.
- Create depth. Intimacy does not come from automation, it comes from acknowledgment and appreciation. How are you engaging?
- Add value. Business is only transactional if you make it. How do your communications add value when they're taking up the mental space of your customers?