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

Power Communications Strategies

Congratulations, you've made it one more year. It's time for focus, resolutions, and goal setting . However, may I compel you to do one more thing, one thing that will mean more to your career and business success than anything else . . .

What is this one magically thing?


If you do anything in the near year, no matter what your objectives are, please take action . So many read this newsletter with the great agreement, even praise of the strategies shared, and still fails to take action.

If you're not willing to take action with what you read here , then do both of us a favor and unsubscribe today with the link at the bottom of this message.

In the last lesson you learned how to become your customer's biggest competitive advantage, to even position yourself to be indispensable to your buyer. But still, how do you convey this value to new prospects so they clearly understand what you can do for them?

Look, you deserve so much more in your business. I've helped a small struggling client turn $441 thousand in revenue into $13 million in just 2 years. I helped another client add $25 million in new contracts in just 18 months. What is important to you in the area of building business relationships?

In every case where I bring clients huge monetary return, I use the value of business relationships more than anything else. My sales and marketing management insights are only as good as the individuals who take action , and your ability to motivate your team to take meaningful action in your key to similar results in your business.

How much more effective could your sales and marketing teams be in 2006? And, what would that mean to your bottom line? These aren't rhetorical questions, I expect you to answer them -- your career depends on it.

In this lesson you'll learn communications strategies that build customer relationships . With these strategies you have the base skills necessary to do what you'll learn in the next lesson, where you'll discover why you should build customer relationships in every transaction .

Until then, TAKE ACTION!

Yours in service,

Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Ps. Did you know that because you are a newsletter subscriber you can fax questions (on business letter head) to +1 (877) 207-3798 for answers about your sales & marketing management challenges? Business relationship challenges? Or for anything else? This fax hotline is available 24-hours a day; questions are answered first come first serve within 7 business days (members within 72 hours. )? Please include your full contact details in case I need to call for clarification.

Pps. Thank you for your feedback over 2005; I've used your requests and questions to update the editorial calendar for the next few months. Also look for more tool kits and reports for your sales & marketing teams in 2006 to help you turn business relationships into profits.

Seven Communications Strategies For Building Profitable Customer Relationships

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

Is what you say helping to build profitable customer relationships? Probably not, most companies talk too much about themselves, and the truth is, customers really don't care about you. All customers really want to hear about is those things important to their own objectives.

What happens when you use the wrong communications strategies?

When you talk about "you" it instantly disconnects the customer -- maybe stakeholders care about your company, but what customers really care about is "What's In It For Them. "

Remember, a disconnected customer isn't a buyer, even worse, when a customer doesn't see their own best interest in doing business with you; they put up mental barriers that keep them from considering you in the future.

If customers don't care about you, then how do you build a communications strategy that gives them what they want, while building profitable customer relationships? Here are several strategies you can start using today:

  1. Customer messages from the top down. Are leaders in your organization saying what customers want to hear, then standing behind the delivery of these promises? It takes more than saying what customers want to hear -- you must deliver what customers expect. If your top leaders aren't allocating resources to materialize your message, then you've already lost.
  2. Listen from the bottom up. Your people on the front line know more about what customers really want than anyone in your organization -- no market research study will tell you what customers are really saying better than listening on the front lines. What tools do you provide that capture and use what customers say to your front line staff? Encourage ever sales and marketing staffer to spend time asking questions of the people in the trenches serving customers daily.
  3. Create an open dialog between you and customers. How do you make customers happy to share their concerns, expectations, and desires with your organization? Let customers know you are listening by establishing environments where customers speak directly with engineers, service professionals, and other key providers without sales people trying to sell them something. Encourage user group meetings and other events that bring customers together -- capture details first then follow up with a relevant sales message.
  4. Provide value messages monthly in customer's words. If you say it, it's bragging, but if a customer says it, it's true. How are you sharing the positive words customers are already saying about your company? Instead of talking about yourself, let your customers say it, even if you have to interview customers to extract the right message. Use this strategy to announce new products, changes in management, and any other "news" you may want to share -- make it about happy customers talking with customers.
  5. Heavy use of social proof. Don't just use customer words; reinforce them with tangible proof from third party research. Think, "What are others saying about us, and why should customers care? " When customers see how positive others react to your products or services, there is an unwritten assumption that they should act the same. Help customer's model buying behavior by showing them what ideal customers look like.
  6. Celebrate customer achievements that reinforce the use of your product. If the use of your product or service creates positive results for one customer, then all similar prospective customers should hear about it immediately. Use fact based case studies and other neutral tools to share these messages. One tip, these achievements must be believable to the majority of your buyers. A prospective customer must be able to say, "By using this product, I am highly likely to achieve the same. "
  7. Speak to one customer at a time. How does each of your marketing messages speak to one specific buyer? Help prospective customers feel a part of something; don't talk at them as much as you talk with them about their particular unique situation. This encourages a call to a sales person, an appointment, or taking a step forward in your sales cycle without pressure. Every message must speak to someone specific if it's to produce the strongest connection with buyers.

Doing these things is just the start. In "Strategies To Document Business Communications" you learn that a formal communications strategy helps better understand motivating desires that attract customers to your business . Plus, a communications strategy that builds relationships sets customer expectations while eliminating misunderstandings and wasteful chatter that irritates customers.

How do you get started? Follow these steps as provided; you'll create immediate result, but further, talk about these strategies with your sales and marketing teams . Ask, "What proof do we have that customers actually care about what we share with them? " When you use these strategies, you'll see sales conversions increase, customers will feel more involved, and you'll be hero at the next staff meeting guaranteed.

© Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
/ customer-relations | clearly-communicate /

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