Building Business Relationships

Are you struggling to create and keep profitable customers? Columns for Sales and Marketing Management who wants to build business relationships.
Friday, June 27, 2003

Put Your On-line Marketing Dollars Where It Matters

SEM: More expensive than you might think. The very wise Kevin Lee has written in ClickZ this week about some of the costs of Search Engine... [Gary Stein]

In my report How B2B Companies Build Powerful Strategic Relations On-Line I state that B2B companies interested in building relationships with buying customers should concentrate on advertising where the buyers are over search engine optimization. Gary's comments expand on the area of Search Engine Marketing and will give you more insight about being seen on the web.

Search engines will find you if your first support your customers desires, second, help potential buyers find what they need, and finally leverage references to your website from existing sites with a high percentage of your buying audience. This means use public relations to have them talking about you, get products reviewed, test various ad space and sponsorships, and be involved in user communities related to your offering.

Also read Is SEM Becoming Unaffordable? by Kevin Lee for more channels to get your website found. After building a website that garners relationship building methods, test at least one of the methods he presents. Kevin also provides some insights on why paid on-line marketing campaigns fail.

/ "interaction-points" | "b2b-websites" /

Justin Hitt helps executive build stronger relationships that can increase profits and create loyal customers. For more information visit Inside Strategic Relations or call +1 (877) 207-3798

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More about treating potential customers with respect

Study: Businesses Improve Online Service. Largest US corporations have shown improvement in handling online customer interactions but many still fall short []

More coverage on the Customer Respect Group's study of how customers are treated online (including some findings from Jupiter Research). I covered this a few days ago in "Customers are getting no respect online", just thought I'd add a few more tips to reward my regular readers.

  1. Have a strong clearly written privacy policy.  Let visitors know exactly how all collected information will be used. Cover issues of how information collected offline is used -- truly integrate your website with the rest of your communications channels.
  2. Use data collected to benefit the visitor. Your web visitors give you information about themselves because they want something of value from you, but often companies don't deliver. Don't collect anything you're not going to use.
  3. Respond to all inquires to your company within 24 hours.  Whether the request comes by phone, the web, or any other communications channel, you must get back with the individual in a reasonable amount of time. Why?  Because it shows you respect the interests of the individual.
  4. Be responsive even if it's an informative auto-responder.  This bears repeating, at least acknowledge incoming requests with an informative note automatically generated -- provide useful information to help the visitor while you are getting back to them. Smart systems are available that respond by keyword, but at least let them know a time frame you expect to get back with them.

Justin Hitt teaches executives how to create strong business relationships that can increase profits while improving customer loyalty. To learn more about business relationships visit Inside Strategic Relations or call +1 (877) 207-3798

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Enhancing Customer Information to Improve CRM Return. How to know what your customer wants and use this information to improve your CRM return on investment. Strategies for becoming a customer centric business.

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Integrating CRM And BI, Smart Integration Pays Off Big. Eleven strategies to get the most out of your company's CRM/BI integration. Including elements you must have in place to maximize data mining abilities.

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Discover a safe place for developing business relationship skills

Oliver Wendell Holmes. "Knowledge and timber shouldn't be much used till they are seasoned." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

If you face challenges implementing relationship strategies in your business, then consider subscribing to Applying Strategic Relations available right now. You'll get access to a complete interactive fully-search-able database of how-to articles that focus on successful actions -- not theory or hype.

In the Coaching Forum season the ideas of success, with complete peer review, and feedback from experts in all areas of business relationships; including business development, management strategy, and relationship management. In the forum, you can network with other B2B companies to see strategic relations in action.

As a subscriber you'll get hand-on experience with building stronger employee loyalty, improved customer retention, learn how to identify strategic partners, and much more. You'll benefit from the thousands of hours I've put into researching, applying, and testing business relationships.

Learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of hundreds of other executives who are now building powerful relationships that increase their profits, and bring stability to business. Subscribe today to Applying Strategic Relations with no-risk, cancel anytime.

For more information visit

Justin Hitt helps executives build profitable relationships with customer, employees, and strategic partners. He can be reached by phone at +1 (877) 207-3798 or on-line at

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Finally blocking of telemarketing calls begins with national registry

National Registry for Blocking Telemarketer Calls Begins. A national do-not-call registry will open Friday for anyone who wants to block sales calls. By Jennifer 8. Lee. [New York Times: Business]

I got 7 calls today from companies trying to sell me stuff I don't need, don't want, and have never even consider buying. The most irritating thing was the second line here rang about 10 minutes later with the same recorded calls. I'm very happy this national do-not-call register is available for the United States (let me know if similar is available in the United Kingdom, I'm always interested in tagging my database.)

While many of these database are oriented toward consumer phone numbers, it doesn't hurt to run your house data against these registries to protect your company.   You don't actually have to purge the record, but be sure not to call it with an automated system or for any other reason that you haven't been given specific permission to do so. You can be fined if someone you call request you not call again and you violate that request.

For my clients I recommend a permission flag for each communications channel (i.e. phone, fax, email, mail) and track these values individually. Often customers will welcome unsolicited direct mail, but be very upset receiving the same by phone. Improve customer relationships by respecting preferred communications channels.

Justin Hitt teaches executives strategies to improve business relationships that can increase revenues while reducing costs of service. Publisher of Inside Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly newsletter.

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Strong employee relationships start when they are job seekers

Firms warned not to treat job seekers badly. Firms who don't bother to let candidates know if they have secured a job have been warned they could face a backlash affecting their business. [Ananova / Business]

This really irks me, think about it, What message are you sending prospective employees when you don't respond to job inquiries?  Well, I'll tell you. You say that you don't care and that their interest in your organization isn't warranted.  But I'm sure that's not what you meant.

Things not to do:

Justin Hitt teaches executives how to create strong business relationships that can increase profits while improving customer loyalty. To learn more about business relationships visit Inside Strategic Relations or call +1 (877) 207-3798

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7 questions to ask before web-site integration

Financial Insights Examines Critical Success Factors in Columbia Management Company�s Web-site Integration Project [IDC: Press Center]

In addition, ask yourself the following while developing your web integration objectives:

  1. How will data collected at the website be integrated into our existing systems?  The web provides a great tool for gathering additional information about customers and their needs. Look at integrating this data into your CRM system, literally filling in missing elements helpful to sales and marketing.
  2. What role will the website have in our overall communications strategy?  Your website is not separate from your overall corporate communications strategy. Focus on utilizing the website to assist other communications channels.
  3. Are there any solutions our customers are using the web to find that we can provide?  Draw new visitors to your website and provide extra value by clearly demonstrating how your offering solves real problems for customers. Go as far as exchanging contact information for reports and studies that tell visitors exactly how to solve the problems they face.
  4. What is our executives roll for direct communications with customers, employees, or partners via the website?  (I'd like your opinion on this, visit the survey "Executive Opinions of Building Business Relationships On-line")  Your website will provide a great opportunity for executives to speak directly with those who contribute to your success. While this has great benefits, if not properly managed, could hurt the company.
  5. Who will wants to be reached by our website and how can we make available existing communications channels?  Segment your customer base providing what each group is looking for when they visit your website. Group information in logical units based on customers desires. Use subject based navigation as well as hierarchal maps.
  6. How can we advance customer, employee, and strategic partner relationships?  Keep everyone involved with your company and aware of current happens (especially when they benefit them directly.)  Consider separate areas on your website for customers, employees, and strategic partners. Use password protection to secure private information.
  7. How will we measure success in this project?  Websites are about gathering information and selling product -- everything else is auxiliary. Use profit as a measure of success, profit both over the cost of site development and its contribution to the companies bottom line.

Justin Hitt helps executive build stronger relationships that can increase profits and create loyal customers. For more information visit Inside Strategic Relations or call +1 (877) 207-3798

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Last update: 04/08/2004; 2:30:14 PM.

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