A few days ago, I attended the Amtower Summit on Selling to the Government. Though a variety of topics were discussed, the most significant point I took away from the event was the overall importance of relationships in B2G marketing. Building relationships increases top-of-mind awareness, makes it more likely that your customers will come back to you, and can ultimately increase your market share and revenues. But how does one build relationships? Truly, there is no “silver bullet”, but with a dedicated effort, you can steadily build mindshare among your market.
First of all, you need to understand exactly who your market is. It is difficult to build relationships with too many different people at once, so some segmentation should be done. Choose one or two niche markets you most wish to serve (or that you are already in) and concentrate on them. You can always expand later, once you’ve honed your relationship-building skills.
And don’t forget about your current customers! Generally, 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients. Get to know that 20%Ã¢â?¬â?their needs, their likes, their pet peeves, their quirksÃ¢â?¬â?go that extra mile and make them feel special, because they ARE. You definitely don’t want to lose them!
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not contacting prospects and clients often enough. The truth is, in this modern cluttered world, you have to maintain almost constant contact to be even remotely memorable to your prospects and clients. To put it numerically, it takes 12-18 contacts a year to turn a prospect to a client, and 24-36 contacts each year to keep a client. This can be as easy as forwarding news articles of interest, calling “just to check-in”, or sending nice cards in the mail at holidays. Other great ideas include inviting them to a webinar your company is running or sponsoring, hosting special invitation-only “mini-events” at tradeshows and seminars, and sending them white papers your company has released that they will find interesting. Never be insistent or overbearing, and make sure every single outreach adds some value for them.
Make sure that building relationships with clients is a top priority to your company and you will be well on your way to increasing your bottom line!