What is “Relationship Marketing”?

The dictionary defines relationship marketing as “marketing activities that are aimed at developing and managing trusting and long-term relationships with larger customers”.

I think that definition is fair enough, however I would like to offer this one which I believe is simpler: “Relationship marketing refers to building a business largely on the strength of personal relationships.”

Is it possible to build a business based on personal relationships?

When I began my business, Internet Presence LLC, in 2013, I decided that the only thing I would focus on is helping my clients to succeed. I would do no marketing activities other than my own website and participating in business networking groups; otherwise, I would dedicate myself to helping my clients with their businesses and their online presence.

Within six months my new business was profitable, and after 18 months, every client that I have has come from a referral or a personal relationship with me.

What are the benefits of relationship marketing?

Relationship marketing has several distinct advantages:

  • New business opportunities tend to close more quickly;
  • New business opportunities tend to have a higher rate of closing;
  • New business opportunities tend to be less price-sensitive;
  • Clients acquired through relationship marketing tend to refer you to others that they know personally.

How do you build personal relationships in business?

The key to building personal relationships in business is listening. Everyone — from other business owners you may meet, to prospective clients who might need your product or service — will be happy to discuss what’s important to them if you will only listen. If you will listen to what others have to say, you will have taken the first step toward building a personal relationship.

Would you like to learn more about relationship marketing and how it can help you grow your business? Contact the Stamford Business Network and visit one of our upcoming meetings.

About the author

Andrew Lehrfeld is Principal at Internet Presence LLC, a company specializing in improving online presence for small businesses and professional services firms. Andrew has been developing effective websites and improving online presence for companies, organizations, and individuals for over 20 years.