Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Relationship Marketing

During an economic slowdown, businesses often reduce, or completely eliminate dollars that are spent on marketing and advertising. To compensate for the slack, it becomes more and more imperative to build quality customer relationships and create a vast referral network<. Here are three tips from Karen Saunders, owner of the design firm MacGraphics Services ( Consider these tips from Karen Saunders, to help you increase your sphere of influence and generate sales:

1. Be consistent. Stay connected with your most loyal customers by giving them a call or sending them regular emails and newsletters. A 5 percent increase in customer loyalty can add 20 percent to 80 percent to your bottom line, studies show.

2. Show them the love. A simple and sincere card can make a huge impression on someone, especially if they’re having a bad day. Send customers a customized postcard once a month, or develop a system for remembering birthdays and anniversaries (include a gift card, if your budget allows). Consider using an online service that manages contacts and prints and mails postcards and greeting cards.

3. Spread your wings. If you know 250 people, there’s a good chance they each know at least 250 people, and so on. When you build a strong network and nurture meaningful relationships with the people you serve, you have the potential to garner unlimited referrals. In turn, you will be less affected by economic down cycles. Start making relationship marketing part of your daily business activity.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009