Have you ever analyzed what really drives sales in your business? Before even considering content or relationships, most people tie their answer to marketing or sales. While sales are certainly one driver, they aren’t the main propellant for small businesses.
What causes one person to shop with you for years and drive out of their way to get to you, while the guy across the street won’t step foot through your door? Typically, when I ask this question, I get feedback about how great the product and service is.
When I ask why the guy across the street won’t use you, I typically get some explanation of a lack of need or ability to buy.
All of those answers can be true, but that doesn’t make any of them correct.
I spent the last seven years studying these questions and searching for both the truth and the correct answer. Surprisingly, the right answer is far easier to understand than I thought it would be. Since you probably have better things to do than become an expert on the subject, I’ll save you years and tell you what I found.
The Truth and the Correct Answer
If you want to drive sales growth and repeat business, it boils down to understanding and then implementing one strategy:
Content builds relationships, relationships build trust, and trust equals sales.
Think about that statement for a minute. It is true in your personal and business life right now. Let’s break it down and talk about why it is true.
Content builds relationships. Since the dawn of man, how did we build relationships? We created content. If I found myself single and on a date tomorrow, I would work to build a relationship with the person I was dating by talking to them — also known as creating content.
For many years, people created B2B sales content by having all the knowledge and telling sales prospects about the great features and benefits of new, amazing machines.
Today, we create content such as websites, e-books, and YouTube videos.
It’s All About Relationships
Why do we do all of this? Simply put, content equals relationships, and if your customer is looking to purchase anything of significant value from you, you will need a relationship to make that happen.
Once we have a relationship, what starts to happen?
Trust Me, I’m a Marketer
Relationships build trust. Most people don’t fully trust someone they’ve just met, regardless of whether the relationship is business or personal. Human nature is to give a little bit of trust and see if someone is worth giving more trust to. In other words, make them earn it.
This is where delivering what you said you would becomes so important. This is where good customer service — the person who answers the phone or sits at the front desk — can make or break this new relationship. As the relationship continues, more and more trust is given, the experience is still positive, and you become more trusted in return.
As this trust in you grows, what happens?
Trust equals sales. The more a person trusts you, the more they will buy from you.
With all the competition that is popping up, there’s one bit of good news: It is super easy to stand out because there are so many poorly run companies and untrustworthy people in the world. All you have to do is do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it.
Also, treat people the way you want to be treated. Since so few will do that, it is easy to stand out from the pack.
Nurture Your Relationships
Change is hard. Once you have a relationship with someone and you always get what you expect, parting ways with that person or business is not easy or even desirable. Because you provided good content, you created trust.
From that trust, you worked hard and developed a relationship, and now, that relationship is an asset that generates money year after year. When you have 500, 1,000, 2,000, or 5,000 of those assets, you have an amazing business.
The Solution to Your Content Problem
If you’ve followed me for a while, you may have heard me say that you should use a newsletter to build a fence around your customers. They will stay longer and spend more. Well, this is what I’m talking about.
Had I been more sophisticated in my understanding of how all of this works seven years ago, I would have switched out the newsletters for content.
I tell people all the time that a newsletter isn’t a magic wand. If anyone is selling you a magic solve-all-your-problems tool, you should run very far away very quickly.
A newsletter is simply a vehicle to distribute content that builds relationships. It nurtures those relationships over time. You have to take the relationship and turn it into trust by delivering on your product or services. If you don’t, can’t, or won’t do that, you can deliver all the content and send all the newsletters in the world, but they simply wouldn’t matter one bit.
How to Implement This in Your Business
The challenge with any idea is implementation. With most ideas in business, you typically have four choices, and this one is no different.
You can do the following:
- Do nothing. This is what most people do, which is good news for you, because it is also what most of your competitors are doing. It is very easy to stand out.
- Do it yourself. Content has to be created, and maybe you’re the best person to do that right now in your company.
- Hire an employee to do this for you. Invest the time and money to hire and train a content creation person, and outsource the editing and graphic design.
- Find a company to help you implement this strategy.
Regardless of your decision, if you want to truly grow, or if you want to beat the competitor down the street, or if you want to increase the value of your company, it starts with this strategy. This leaves you with one thing to do before you finish this article. Look back at the four options and make a choice. It really is that simple.
If you’re looking for a way to build relationships and need our help with a custom print newsletter, getting a free copy of our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Newsletters“, is a great place to start.