Cultivating the Community - 21st century tools and strategies
A recent survey conducted by Interland Inc., a top Internet service provider, identifies establishing “community relations” as the primary marketing strategy of small business owners. The failure to market is a major reason why roughly half of all small businesses fail within two years of start-up. Community relations will always be an integral part of marketing your business, but it’s time to realize that the community has changed. If you plan to be in business for the long run, you will have to employ new relationship-building tools.
It would be great to attend an event, connect with someone who needs your product or service and sign them up on the spot, but that rarely happens. According to a survey by the Harvard Business School, 80 percent of all new sales require eight to 15 contacts just to gain the interest of a sales prospect and six to 18 months on average to close the deal. Changing community dynamics with respect to size and expectations are a key consideration. No longer are you competing with businesses on your block alone, but also with companies half way around the world. And, in today’s 24/7/365 economy, prospects expect information on demand.
So how do you bring your relationship-building efforts into the 21st century?
To compete in today’s environment, it’s important to master new tools and strategies for cultivating relationships. It’s not just whom you know, but who knows you and what they know about you that will shape your success.
Brent Leary is a partner at CRM Essentials. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.crm-essentials.com.
|By Brent Leary|