Relationship Marketing

Relationship Marketing

Developing a Business Relationship is Just Like Dating

Everyone in business is looking to build more business relationships with people who can give them more projects, contracts, work and buy products. It’s what makes the business world tick.

You already have business relationships that give you repeat business and they tell other people about you, but this is not enough to grow the business, you are looking for more.

You know when you get in front of a new customer you can normally do business with them, your problem is getting in front of them in the first instance.

Lets Go Dating

If we can reframe the problem into a situation we all know very well, this may help us understand the process better.

We have all had experience in meeting people and developing personal relationships.  How did we do that?

Before we enter into a relationship we normally know what type of person we like. Body shape, hair colour, features, values, personality, similar interests, hobbies etc.

We then went to places where we might meet people. Night clubs, social events, sports events and in todays society dating sites.

Dating sites are interesting because you submit your profile and look for people with similar profiles in terms of values and interests.

If you like the person you have found you give them a wink or a like. They then see that you have winked and will check out your profile. If they like what they see you then begin to chat.

Once you get to know the person a little by chatting, you may then arrange a date and then bingo a new relationship and maybe a marriage.

Just so you know, I have been happily married for over 30 years and did my dating the traditional way. We actually met on an 18/30 holiday. The same principal though, we both went on holiday and hung out in places young people hung out at, in our case a disco. We had a chat, I told a dirty joke that made her laugh, and we got on like a house on fire. We came from similar backgrounds, had the same values, got engaged on Holiday (I know) and got married exactly on the same day we got engaged twelve months later.

Marketing Objectives

In business we know who our target audience is, their sector, their job title, interests, reading habits, what they buy from us, why they buy from us etc. Or you should know this otherwise you are going to be kissing a lot of frogs and wasting a lot of time and money.

We know where they hang out – Industry networking groups, Industry Institutes, Industry associations, LinkedIn groups, Twitter and many more social networks.

The problem is we are normally too busy to hang out at networking events and lots of people who attend just sell to us. We are too busy to get involved in institutes and associations so we go for the least line of resistance and connect with people on social media thinking, everyone does it, so it must work.

It seems the whole world is connected – but no one engages.

When was the last time you connected to someone and when was the last time you engaged. I bet you connected a few days ago and very, very rarely engage. WHY?

You are connecting with people that you know match your profile, because you have checked them out.  You know what they are interested in, as you have done your research, but you fail to give them a wink or like, so they don’t know you want to know them.

What is going on in your head?

I don’t know what to say, They may not like me, I may look like a fool, I don’t want to bother them, I will do it another day, I don’t know how to start the conversation?

What made you go up to that Girl or Boy and ask them for a dance? What was your driver? If you fancied them that much, you would just do it, you wouldn’t care if you made a fool of yourself, you were motivated by lust, another word for want.

Failing that you may have asked a friend to be the matchmaker. There is nothing wrong in that.  We call it a referral in business.

Lets think of LinkedIn as a dating site. You have your profile and your target audience has theirs. You can find them and they can find you by using key words in advanced search. Make sure your profile looks and feels brilliant and it’s set up to attract your target audience. Make it easy for them to find you, use the correct key words.

So how do you get chatting?

Be human. Fully research their profile, their business website and find out what they are interested in.

Whatever you do next, do not sell to them, this is the last thing you want to do. How does it feel for you to receive a message that is just trying to sell you something?  Infuriating isn’t it. So don’t do it, it’s not the way to build a relationship. It’s a bit like going up to a girl or boy and saying “do you fancy a quickie”. You will only get a slap. With a message you will get a DELETE.

A better way would be to give some value. For example I may do some research on their website or linkedIn profile and give them some hints and tips on how they can improve their marketing message to get improved results. This costs me nothing and they get some value. Or I may complement them on an achievement or the quality of their business, or just some feed back.

How does it make you feel when you get some feed back from an article, blog or website. It feels good doesn’t it? Keep the conversation going, be human, tell a joke or direct them to some common interest web content. Your mission is to help and support them for a while. If it begins to work, you can then invite them for a coffee or a meeting.

Any relationship takes time and effort to build. There is no quick fix and you have to invest your time or your money by asking a specialist social media marketer to do it for you. It is the only way.

Lets make it simple with some steps for you to follow


Step 1 – Create your LinkedIn profile so it becomes attractive. Make sure you show your target audience the benefits of working with you. A way to think about this is to come up with a list of things you leave them with when you have finished your work and they have paid you. This is what the customer is buying from you. The benefits.

Step 2 – Search for customers that meet your ideal customer profile. Connect with them. They will connect with you if your profile looks and feels right for them. It has to be a good fit. It’s like dating.

Step 3 – As soon as they connect with you, return a note with a complement or some other high value-giving message. Ask questions in order to get a response and engagement.

Step 4 – Keep the conversation going until you think you can ask for a quick telephone chat. Build more value during the chat. Ask questions to find out their needs and pain. Continue to support them. DO NOT SELL – But sell a meeting. Your objective is to get face to face with them. Say something like. “If I could show you a way to achieve your objectives would you have a coffee with me?

Step 5 – Have your meeting. Ask more need analysis questions and give options. Try and get them to buy from you rather than you selling to them. At the end of the day you are helping them achieve their objectives by delivering a solution to their problem. This is called consultative selling.


This example assumes you want to connect to a high flyer in a large organisation.

Step 1 – Create your profile in the same way as your LinkedIn one but you have to do it far less words.

Step 2 – Connect to the company twitter accounts you want to do business with. Create lists within your account so you can monitor them easily and without confusion of other accounts getting in the way.

Step 3 – Engage with the social media marketer. Large companies will be using their marketing departments for communications. Build your relationship with them. Communicate using direct messaging. Ask them who would be the best person to speak to with regards to your service or product. Ask for a referral or introduction. Check this person out on LinkedIn, and then follow the process above. If you get the introduction follow your sales process.

Engagement and building a relationship on trust and credibility is the key to getting more appointments with the people who can help give you work and grow your business.

Back to dating – You don’t jump into the sack with a person within 10 minutes of meeting them – you court them, get to know them, build trust and credibility and then if the fit is right BOOM. It is exactly the same in business.

The formula is:

Step 1 – Visibility – Be seen and engage with people

Step 2 – Build trust and credibility. This then leads onto

Step 3 – New business

Feel free to give me some feed back. I like it too.


Bob Evans - Your Ideal Business PartnerArticle by Bob Evans from Your Ideal Business Partner. Currently a Business Accelerator Growth Coach at Winning Pitch. Bob is working with businesses from the construction sector and creative sector. Bob is achieving this by lean leadership, strategic marketing, sales planning and then executing the plans from chairing board meetings. Bob has been a successful business growth coach from 2005 and has taken business owners from employing two people to forty. Improving turnover in excess of 300% within a single year in some cases. LinkedIn 

New Sales Acquisition

New Customer Acquisition Sales

In the world of new client acquisition, there is an inherent problem, brought about by social media.

In the world of new client acquisition, I believe there is an inherent problem, brought about by social media. Never before, in the history of sales prospecting, have we had so much access to so many new suspects – it’s mind boggling.

In a matter of seconds, I can access LinkedIn and locate a list of dozens of my ideal target suspects. Within a day, I could have connected with these LinkedIn suspects, even messaged them and begin the journey of sharing my business services with each and every one of them. So, what if some respond and some don’t – there’s another list of suspects already waiting at the press of a search button – One million new members join LinkedIn every week!

It is easy to become a connector with many and an engager with none

The issue I have with all this abundance of suspects is that it is easy for us to become a connector with many and an engager with none. This is definitely not the route to grow your business with profitable new clients – you must engage and follow up and once you’ve followed up, you must do so again.

Last week, I confirmed a new piece of business, with a national firm, which will see me delivering strategy workshops in 3 of our UK cities during July and October. This work originated from someone who viewed my LinkedIn profile 1 year ago.

You see, I check who’s viewed my LinkedIn profile daily – I follow up anyone who is in my target market and 1 year ago that is precisely what I did. After a number of direct follow up calls and emails, things went quiet for a while but I never lost sight of that prospect. Through our database CRM system (my goldmine), I kept in touch, albeit indirectly, through email newsletters, supported by our LinkedIn posts just like this one.

When the client was ready to do business they got in touch and all I had to do was refer to my records of our previous communications to pick up exactly where we had left off.

If you don’t have a process to follow up, you will lose your prospect

Sales is not difficult – it’s about providing clients with what they need, when they need it. However, if you don’t have a system in place to follow up and keep in touch then when your client is ready, they may well go somewhere else.

If you would like to learn more on how to set up a sales process you can follow that will deliver new customers feel free to make contact with me. The first step is to find out what you are doing now and then put in place a process to fill any gaps.

Use your LinkedIn account for its true purpose. Building business relationships with people who may become customers, suppliers and mentors. I have lots of connections and if we end up working together I am more than happy to share them with you.

Looking forward to hear from you.

Bob Evans
Your Ideal Business Partner


Lead Generation

The Solution to Sales Lead Generation

Leads Are The Lifeblood of Your Business: Are You Generating Enough?

We work hard with our clients to help them acquire a “big picture” perspective of their business.  This is hard for most small business owners, and some larger businesses, because the vast majority of their time is spent dealing with short-term challenges that go along with running a business.  One of the first big “Eureka!” moments that my clients have once they have adopted a big picture perspective is that the number of leads they generate is the most important indicator of the future health of their business.  

Without leads, it doesn’t matter how great your product or service is—you aren’t going to sell it.  Without leads, it is only a matter of time until your business dries up.  Without leads, it is impossible for your company to grow.  This is a fairly obvious point, really—without leads, you can’t pick up new business.  But despite this reality, far too many business owners spend virtually no time generating leads.  And while leads do “pop up” from time to time with no direct effort, waiting for leads to fall into your lap is an unsustainable strategy.  And more importantly, with just a small time commitment, you can rapidly increase the number of leads you generate.  Whether it is attending networking events, advertising online, or launching a traditional ad campaign, lead generation needs to be a priority.  But it’s not enough to think about it from time to time—you need to create a system that allows you to efficiently generate these leads.  If you’d like more information on such a system, contact us and I will help you get started.

Why do so many business owners overlook lead generation?  Because, as I mentioned above, lead generation is not something that is important from a short-term perspective.  In fact, from the perspective of a business owner who is scrambling just to keep up with his work each day, new leads are the LAST thing you want… because new leads just mean more work.  But once you have learned to look at your business from a big-picture perspective, you will realise that new leads are the key to accomplishing your dreams and achieving the freedom you desire.  Take your business to the next level… focus on generating the leads you need to grow your company!

Learn how to generate more leads in this sales lesson>

Author: Bob Evans – Your Ideal Business Partner


Lead generation

Increase your lead generation

Most every one of our clients wants to grow their business.  You probably want to grow your business, too—that’s why you’re reading this article.  So allow me to ask you the same question I ask my clients: how do you generate your leads?  Unfortunately, too many business owners can’t provide a clear answer to this question—because they don’t have a clear system in place.  No, for many business owners, lead generation is something that happens irregularly and inconsistently.  Leads may fall into their laps, but they are not consistently generated.  If you hope to grow your business, you need a clearly defined, consistently executed lead generation system.  And you need to track your results so that you know what works and what doesn’t.

If you have never considered the creation of a lead generation system, the idea may sound overwhelming.  If that’s the case, feel free to contact us—We’ll help you build a system that really works.

The first step in creating your system of lead generation is simply to brainstorm possible strategies.  Networking and third party relationships are almost always effective strategies.  Blogging can be a viable source of leads depending on your business.  Pay Per Click advertising programs work well for many businesses.  Others utilise traditional print media campaigns.  Sit down with your management team and create a thorough list of possible lead generation strategies.

Once you’ve created a list, the next step is identifying three or four of the most promising channels.  Create a system to ensure that each channel is effectively utilised for at least four to six months.  If networking is one of your tactics, make sure that you or your sales rep is consistently attending targeted functions.  If Google ad words are a source of web leads are you able to find ways to improve the results and build more leads on a consistent basis?

Finally, it’s critical that you track the effectiveness of each lead generation channel you pursue.  Track the pounds you spend, track the raw number of leads you generate, and identify whether these leads are qualified or not.  At the end of your trial period, you’ll have incredibly valuable data at your fingertips: not only will you know how many leads have been generated, but you will also know how much each lead costs.

Once you’ve identified the most effective strategies to increase your lead generation, put systems in place to ensure that they continue to operate.  We’ve seen this process in action many times – it’s a beautiful thing!

Author: Bob Evans – Your Ideal Business Partner Google+