Are you trying to bed your clients on a first date?

The dos and don'ts of building lasting client relationships

We’ve all been there. The date’s going brilliantly, you’re three cocktails in and then the words just tumble out of your mouth…

‘I love you, please come home and make babies with me’

(No? Just me?)

All that warming up, rapport-building, connection-nurturing, destroyed by one slurred sentence because you cut straight to the chase too soon.

If you look at it objectively, why should that be such a relationship killer? You both know that’s where dating is ultimately headed, one day those will be the words you long to hear. You’re just saving time by getting on with it. And yet, on a first date, the abruptness, neediness and prematurity is a massive turn-off.

And so back to business, because as much as I’m sure you’d love to hear more of my dating wisdom (true story, I ran a blog for an online dating agency for a year), there’s work to be done.

Pitching for the sale is the business equivalent of asking someone to sleep with you.

You want something from them, it requires a level of commitment on both sides, you’ll both get something from it, but it will require some thought and consideration first.

For the sake of decency, modesty and respect, don’t lay yourself out there on the first email, blog post or web page your prospect sees.

Instead, proceed with a gentle, loving courtship, and then gently suggest you take your relationship to the next level.

Here’s how to date your prospect:

#1 If you meet on Facebook

Don’t – plaster your packages, promotions and prices all over your Facebook wall #desperate.

Do – fill your feed with content that adds value, either because it teaches your prospect something, or helps them to get to know you better.

#2 If you meet via your blog post

Don’t – attempt to make the sale in the last line of your blog post then plonk in a link sending them directly to your sales page.

Do – add a content upgrade to the bottom of the blog post. This can be a printable, checklist, an audio recording, anything that adds a layer of value to the original post. Ask for an email address in return for the extra content. Then deliver a short email sequence that includes an introduction to who you are and what you do, and an invitation to email or contact you.

#3 If you meet on your website

Don’t – tempting as it may be to point all links in the direction of your sales page, just don’t. It’s a massive turn-off.

Do – attempt to collect an email address in exchange for a value-adding freebie (aka lead magnet), then use a short sequence of emails to nurture the relationship. You should also encourage visitors to read your blog, which is packed with posts that demonstrate your credibility, likeability, and value.

That’s it.

There’s no drunken fumbles or awkward family intros, but otherwise, nurturing a potential customer is a lot like dating someone new.

Help them get to know you, like you, and trust you (as a credible expert in your field), and then, when it seems like the next logical step in your relationship, introduce them to the opportunity to buy from you.

What about you?

What do you find a massive ‘turn on’ or ‘turn off’ when it comes to sales or business?

Laura Robinson

Laura Robinson

Copywriting & Content Strategy

With an Award in Direct & Digital Marketing under her belt, Laura uses her knowledge and skills to help small business owners create customer relationships using the words on their website and blog.

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