Many people want to know how I became successful. I tell them that I can sum my success up in one word; strong relationships. From the time I started my business in the mid-2000s, I watched successful businesses grow while I was looking for the secret to their success, then I could apply it to my business.
As I watched businesses flourish my excitement grew. As a new entrepreneur I knew I was missing something and I had to find out what it was so I started watching the owners who built successful businesses. While I was watching successful businesses flourish, I also noticed a lot of businesses fading away. I took note of the “faders’ ” business practices too, but the majority of my time was spent watching success rather than failure. Anyone can fail, but I found the common denominator for success was the relationship the owners created with their customers.
To state it differently, their success was not based upon one-time sales. When you build your business upon relationships, customers return again and again. I also saw a huge referral engine taking shape. Customers’ neighbors became customers, other companies became customers and so on and so on. This relationship creates an income stream. Wow!! That was what I was looking for; an income stream.
When you have an income stream you can focus on building your business rather than constantly looking for ways to sell the same product or service over and over. You have time to be creative with your business. Income streams are based upon relationships. Once I realized this principle I knew I had to start building relationships if I was to stay in business.
Relationships don’t just happen, you have to work on them, care for them, and nourish them. The payoff? A strong relationship between you and a person, company or organization breeds longevity. They keep coming back because they trust you. Not only are you building an income stream but you get to meet some pretty neat people, many of which will be influential in your career. Take time with the people who talk to you, they may be an angel for your business.
Having realized relationships as an essential ingredient to building successful businesses, I started building relationships. The people with whom you build a relationship become your advocates. Your advocates tell others about you while at the same time they are actually pre-qualifying prospects. Make sure you spend time building quality relationships as you meet people. If you don’t have time for them at the moment, set a future date and time to meet them or coffee or lunch. You never know which relationship will help you build your next income stream.
The only way I know to build a strong relationship is by communicating. An occasional phone call, an email every now and maybe send them a copy of your latest newsletter. Find the medium that works best for you and use it to perpetuate the relationship you have with your prospect or client.
I like using email to maintain some of my relationships. I especially like using an email marketing system to communicate with my clients. An Email Marketing System like Constant Contact allows me to send what appears to be a personalized email to numerous clients or prospects all at once. Personalized means each email has each client or prospect’s name in the salutation. This personalization goes a long way to building, maintain, and solidify relationships.
If you have not done so yet, give email marketing a try. You can try Constant Contact for free for 60 days or get signed up today for as little at $20/month. Constant Contact was a huge part in building my success. They helped my communicate with people I’d met a networking events, seminars, workshops, etc. If you want to be successful in business, build meaningful relationships.