BUSINESS MARKETING: One time does not equal a relationship

2013-07-20T10:47:00Z BUSINESS MARKETING: One time does not equal a relationshipLarry Galler Times Business Columnist
July 20, 2013 10:47 am  • 

Yippee! You have a new client. Time to celebrate?

Now, in your mind, that of the optimistic entrepreneur, the new client will be so delighted with your company or product or service, that he or she will become a client for life. But that’s not exactly how your client sees you. Not by a long shot.

While you (while wearing your rose tinted glasses) are expecting that new client to be overjoyed to be buying from you, the client is looking at every aspect of your business under a microscope, testing to see whether you are worthy of his or her business.

The client is inspecting your quality, your friendliness, your value and the information you are giving them. He or she is looking for flaws – the differences between what you say in your marketing material and what they see or perceive. If there is a mismatch, the client will go on and test another vendor when he or she is are next in the market for your product or service.

Some businesses view the initial purchase by a new client as the starting point of a relationship. The businesses that are good at it have created and developed a system to convert that first-time client into a returning client, then into an occasional client, then a frequent client and then eventually into a lifetime client.

This conversion from first-timer into life-timer has many steps and actions before that client automatically thinks of that business as their provider of that particular service or product.

Depending upon whether the client wants or needs your product or service frequently or at long intervals of time, the conversion can take weeks or years but, in either case, the process is much the same.

It starts with a concentrated effort – call it an audit – of the actions the business does to entice the first-timer to return and then the actions taken to get them back time and time again.

I implore you to do a self-audit of the marketing actions you do that, in one way or another, compels that first-timer to start down the road towards a long-term relationship and stays, for a lifetime.

Opinions are solely the writer's. Larry Galler, of Larry Galler & Associates, is a marketing and management consultant for small and mid-size companies. Take Galler’s free self assessment by email to determine whether your company has a culture of excellence. Send an email to put “Excellence Assessment” in the subject line.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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