Relationship Marketing: Building Trust before Selling Products

Chances are, you’re more likely to pick up the phone when a friend calls over someone who only calls when they want something from you. This is because your reliable friend invested time into your relationship by demonstrating their value and adding to your happiness.

A similar way of thinking is involved when making purchasing decisions. A business that takes the time to build relationships and offer something to prospective customers before soliciting them is more likely to win over their loyalty in return.

This approach is known as “relationship marketing,” and it presents several benefits that a traditional marketing campaign does not. Here’s why it’s so important to prioritize your customers’ needs and a few tactics to help you do so.

1. It builds your “know, like, and trust” factor

As The Business Journals suggests, “Prospects are worried about being schemed, scammed, taken advantage of, or just not treated right. They want to do business with someone they know, like and trust. That’s also the type of person they are willing to refer to those they care about.”

Building relationships with your customers before conducting business gives them more time to get to know your brand, become fans of it, and trust in the quality of your work. When the time comes, selecting your products or services will be the obvious choice.

2. It generates word-of-mouth referrals

As a result of establishing trust with your customers, relationship marketing helps you generate more word-of-mouth referrals. Once potential customers get to know you, they will be more likely to recommend your products or services to their friends, families, and social networks.

3. It creates more business opportunities

How you approach potential customers won’t just impact your sales; strong relationship marketing can open you up to business partnerships and joint ventures with complementary businesses.

How to establish relationships with your customers

1. Start with social media

One convenient way to begin building relationships with potential customers is by being active on the social media platforms that your audience members are most likely to use. This allows you to engage with them through conversations, ask questions, share advice, and point them toward your website (where they can learn more about you).

2. Take advantage of your website

Articles and blog posts are additional ways to build authority within your niche, while introducing audience members to your products or services. You can take this a step further by offering downloadable resources and tools that can help customers learn more about you.

3. Use email marketing

Use email marketing to send customized welcome letters to everyone who shares their contact information through your site. The welcome letter should introduce your business, demonstrate that you understand your customers’ pain points, and help them overcome any reluctance about conducting business with you.

4. Network offline

Consider attending local networking events for business owners, industry conferences, or other relevant events that are happening in your community.

5. Host events

Lastly, hosting an event (seasonally or for a special occasion) is a great way to get involved in your community, get to know your potential customers, and even give back to a charitable cause.

Take care of your customers, and they’ll take care of you

Building relationships with your customers before attempting to sell your products and services positions you to establish authority and credibility. As a result, it will make your brand the one that fans actively seek out when shopping around for products, and the one that they recommend to their families and friends.

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Brenda Barron

Brenda Barron is a freelance writer, editor, and SEO specialist from southern California. She is a contributor to The Motley Fool and blogs regularly at The Digital Inkwell.

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