Most manufacturers who sell through indirect sales channels are content to let their distribution network own the relationships with purchasers. The problem with this approach is that their sales partners have tremendous power that can sway buyers to competitive products. Therefore, it is vital that the manufacturer develops relations with buyers on a more personal level so that they engage and form brand affinity. Creating and fostering personal relationships is key to growing sales and promoting customer retention. It also strengthens the bonds between you and your distribution network. Let's take a closer look at why these personal relationships are so vital to growing your company and your brand.
1. Personal Relationships Build Trust
Most customers know that your marketing is designed to hook them and get them to buy your product. Yet, if your marketing strategy stops there, you will lose a customer base that is not prone to impulse buying. Many first time buyers, and more importantly repeat customers, want to trust the company they are working with. When they trust your brand, they know they will be getting the quality products, the service, and the product support that they need to make their experience with your company more than satisfactory.
When you design your marketing to build a personal connection with your customer base, they will feel more like you are a company that is willing to solve their problems and address their needs, instead of a company that only cares about selling as much as they can.
2. Connected Customers Are More Likely to Engage With Your Brand
With so much marketing and advertising in front of customers on a daily basis, your efforts are likely to be dismissed as more junk mail unless your message resonates them or connects with them on a more personal level. The customer needs to not only care about the product, but also what it can do to answer their questions or solve the problems that they experience in their daily life. When your customer feels like they can relate to what your company offers, or what the company stands for, they are more likely to engage with your company: inquiring about products, watching for sales, and looking to you as a source for information.
3. Customers That Feel a Connection Will Be More Satisfied and Buy More Often
When a customer buys a product or service that they are not particularly connected to, they are likely to be buying either based on impulse, or just to get the best price for the item. When a customer feel connected to a product or message, they are more likely to build a relationship and visit your store more often, even if your price is not the lowest around. If you continue to deliver on the message you promise, customers will be more satisfied and continue to buy products that they need from you.
4. Connections Build Better Advocacy
With satisfaction, trust, and personal connections comes better advocacy for your company's products or services. The reason that delighting your customers is a crucial step of inbound marketing is that satisfied customers who believe in your brand can be the best cheerleaders to new customers who are still at the beginning of their buyer's journey. With so much marketing and product sales happening online, referrals and reviews can make or break your company. Your connected customers will not only be compelled to keep buying, but they also will be compelled to recommend your company to other potential customers. By having satisfied customers helping to market your company, you will lower your cost of customer acquisition.
All too often, companies focus on lead generation and fail to develop those personal connections with their customers and delight them enough so that they will evolve into repeat business. Always remember that emotionally investing with your customers can improve your repeat sales, grow your customer base through referrals and positive reviews, and help your brand to stand out as a trustworthy source for information over other competitors.