From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Communicate to Build Relationships

When sale and marketing clearly convey how your solutions create the results customers desire, you can quickly improve buying relationships.

You could have the best, most effective solution every created, but if you don't ...

Without these things, no one will want to purchase what you have to offer. Many companies have great solutions that never see a viable market.

The last lesson taught you specifically how to create marketing communications that convey your core message to buyers. Now that you know what to say, how do you know when and how to say it?

The zipper received its first patent in 1851. While your product is much more complex than a zipper, you'll find something instructional in this story. Elias Howe invented the zipper, but delayed marketing the product because of advances in his invention the sewing machines.

In 1893, another patent for a similar zipper device was granted to Whitcomb Judson. He went further by sharing the idea at the Chicago Worlds Fair, but with little success.

The modern zipper, patented 1917 by Gideon Sundback, met the same fate, until 1925 when B. F. Goodrich Company started using zippers on rubber boots. It wasn't until the1930's when they arrived on clothing.

Here is what was instructional ...

It took almost 80 years for a viable solution to reach a buying market. Today zippers are everywhere solving a variety of problem, replacing buttons in some instances, and even making possible other applications. It's not that the Howe was ahead of his time, it was that he didn't know how and when to communicate with his prospective buyers.

Don't make the same mistake in your business. Whether new invention or existing solution, if those who can benefit from it don't know about it, then they can't purchase it.

In this lesson, you'll learn about the types of communications that you can use to deliver your timely and relevant message to attract willing buyers. You'll learn what's necessary to convey your message in way that creates buying relationships.

In the next lesson, you'll see how interactive communications can help you build trust and credibility with new clients.

Until next time, I'm wishing you all the best.


Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Communications Characteristics That Lead To Strong Business Relationships

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

If you want to influence customers while building business relationship, then you need to communicate in terms relevant to their desires. While there are many types of communications, the types that create and keep profitable customers have the following characteristics:

  1. Reinforce desired actions by customers and prospects. The more you can reward the positive behaviors prospects take towards a purchase, the more you'll bring them toward becoming a customer. Start with simple thank you notes, promotional gift, or any other small way of showing your appreciation.
  2. Confirm your commitments with proof. Use sign off sheets, checklists, and other documentation that shows your customer that you took the action you said you would. Demonstrate a return on investment for each benefit you've provided to check up on your own performance. Put your proof in writing when ever possible.
  3. Be considerate of results customers' desire. Know exactly what your customers want to create, then share your message based on their priorities. Customers are different with their own individual concerns. Tailor your message and communications medium according to the customer.
  4. Regularly and consistently, add value to the recipient. Send regular messages that provide something customers would really want to receive. Any value attributed to information provided will reflect positively on your offer. The more value you can create in each communications, the more customers think of your company.
  5. Include communications that primarily ask questions. Help recipients think about your solution in a way that elicits response, instead of just telling them what you can do. Use questions to help customers discover the need for what you offer. Use probing questions to make sure you really understand each customers concern.
  6. Inquire about symptoms experienced by the customer. Instead of just telling a customer how your solution solves problems, help them identify the symptoms eliminated by taking action. Customers are much more familiar with the symptoms than they are with problems.
  7. Share positive examples of results created by customers. Use success stories to demonstrate the results others just like them have received by making a decision about the solution you offer. Show what a relationship with your company means. You'll influence decision makers more with the tangible results they may gain, than the benefits you may promise.
  8. Offer messages based on customer conditions, events, or situations. Instead of broadcasting your message, be more responsive to certain situations experienced by prospects. This understanding of conditions, events, and situations helps improve your ability of being where buyers want you to be when they need you most. Use customer interaction points to educate prospects and customers.
  9. Use response based tools that involve customers in dialog. A two-way conversation consists of listening as much as sharing your message. Feedback from those who buy and those who don't will help you understand what motivates customers. Offer a way for customers to talk back in every message.

It doesn't matter what medium you use to communicate with those who could buy your product. It matters more that you use a type of communication that builds a business relationship. This relationship will keep them buying from your company over anyone else.

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