This marketing piece showed up in our mail a few days ago. It is an example of what we refer to as a relationship marketing strategy.
In our opinion this is a smart marketing idea. We have all experienced the frustration of endless computer generated answering, and finding ourselves begging for a real person.
A strategy is not a tactic. Tactics are the means of achieving immediate goals. A strategy is a long term plan of action with a distinct theme. It is making a choice of direction which will affect the outcome of all of your goals.
To develop a successful strategy you must integrate your personal brand and your passion for the business you are in. It is the result of defining, aligning and refining your brand and your position in the marketplace.
Those of you who run a referral business know exactly how important it is to maintain a relationship. Staying in touch in a face to face way brings dividends. Here are some examples:
One of our now retired clients is a foodie. And five of her best clients were also foodies. Every month, she set up a luncheon with those ladies at the newest restaurant in town.
They had a blast critiquing the food, and tasting all the different offering. After every lunch, she came home with several listing leads.
Another client is an art lover. She became a member at her favorite museum and then trained to become a docent. A docent is a knowledgeable guide usually on a volunteer basis. Her interest and passion in the arts has contributed both sales and listings.
In our commercial real estate practice, we adopted a middle school. Instead of just relying on PTA events for fund raising, we brought in corporations who understood that well-educated children were going to be part of their staffs one day.
Through another channel we were also asked to help with the Heal the Bay project in Santa Monica. We tied this into a project with the school's principal.
The school found ways to adapt the curriculum to learning all aspects of the life of the ocean. They presented their findings to the Chamber of Commerce! Our business increased as a result.
Relationship marketing strategies are all about the art of meeting new people and expanding your sphere of influence. Staying in touch with them consistently is what it takes to generate referrals.