In business today, many people seem to think that it’s all about selling. Although selling is indeed the ultimate goal for any business, it should not be your primary focus when it comes to building brand relationships. Companies that focus on building relationships tend to perform better and sell more over the long-term than those who artlessly try to push a sale.
Here are some reasons why your brand should invest energy in building relationships rather than mindlessly pursuing sales.
Marketing To Build Brand Relationships
Chet Holmes, a very successful salesman, has said that people are in buying mode about 3% of the time. Traditional business selling focuses on that 3%. And it works well. If people are ready to buy something, you want to sell to them.
But what about the other 97% of the time? That’s for building brand relationships. That’s where marketing comes in. Marketing is more about alerting people to the fact that your business exists. It’s about then fostering that brand relationship, so they learn from you, are entertained by you, and when the time comes, buy from you.
The Power of Content for Brand Relationships
Companies have long created content as a way to build brand relationships. Paper newsletters and even company magazines were popular throughout the 1900s. People enjoy consuming content, and that includes content from brands.
For example, today, some of the most popular content sources in the NFL world are the team websites and the NFL’s website. The NFL knows that they and the teams have the best access to players and content. So why not put it out and give the fans what they want?
Today, creating content has never been easier. You can create video, audio, and text in quality and quantity never seen before in history. Now, it still takes resources, but the opportunity is there to reach a great number of potential customers.
It’s to the point of cliché, but professional networking is essential in the marketing world. The best salespeople have usually been the best at networking. They’re able to identify potential customers, connect and build relationships for as long as it takes to work toward a sale.
But a crucial part of it is focusing on both quality and quantity. You can make a professional relationship that is very high quality that never leads to a sale. Many salespeople have experienced this, and it can sour them on the idea of marketing. As a result, they move to focus strictly on the final sale for all interactions.
But the best can see past this. They focus on building lots of brand relationships and on making them all as quality as possible. They know that many won’t lead to a sale, but that many also will.
A Strong Business Reputation
A core part of building strong brand relationships has a strong business reputation. That doesn’t happen overnight. Startups are fun and cool and all that. But the majority of the buying audience in any market wants to see some proof before they make a purchase.
So nearly all businesses need some time in the marketplace to build a strong reputation. This reputation itself works as a great marketing tool. And thus, it works to build future relationships.
It’s safe to say that most businesses understand the value of their reputation. But it’s still important to consider your long-term reputation when making all decisions. They can all impact the way customers see you. Not just today, but well into the future.
Building brand relationships can be exhausting. Compared to sales, you’re not getting as much instant gratification with branding. You’re making a lot of connections. But because these connections aren’t necessarily in buying mode, you’re not making a lot of sales. So, you might feel discouraged when engaging in small talk doesn’t result in an immediate sale. You must resist these feelings and keep your eye on the ball. But if it takes 10-15 conversations with their marketing team to make a big sale, then that’s what it takes.
Branding is about the long-term. It’s about growing overall sales. Then it’s about making the actual sale, more likely to happen. It’s often overlooked by the impatient professionals out there. But for that reason, it’s a huge opportunity.