Four relationship marketing techniques for small businesses

As a small business, getting people in the door is the hard part, and is what a considerable amount of effort goes into for many people.

Have you also thought about the power of winning and retaining business through relationships, though? Many people enjoy buying from and using the services provided by smaller companies because they create a relationship with the store owner and get what they need.

This then often results in referrals and long-standing clients and shows the power of usingĀ relationships to market your business. Here are four tips you can try.

1) Find events and networking opportunities

Events that are in your industry are the perfect forum to meet potential new clients and customers. If you can find an event where suppliers and buyers naturally meet, this is a great way to present your products at a stand.

A great example of this may be a sports supplement company attending fitness expo. The whole event will be attended by people in your target demographic, and you can provide samples to win over a whole crowd in just a day.

Take this opportunity to bring all of your printed marketing assets and draw people’s attention, including merch, banners, andĀ large window decals.

2) Find a partner

If there’s one thing that’s better than a good offer, it’s an offer where you get more than just one item. If you’re in an industry where there are local businesses you can collaborate with to make a product or offer that’s better than the sum of its parts, then this can be a great way to get in front of a new market.

A good example of this may be an electrician and a plumber partnering up and referring business to each other.

3) Reputation and word of mouth

This is one of the most elusive, but effective marketing strategies out there. Getting the first few customers through the door will be one of the most challenging parts of your business growth, but once people start talking, you can create a snowball of referrals.

The real trick is to give the customers you get an experience that will make them talk to their friends about you and give you a referral. This will be some of the best converting business you can get, as people inherently trust what their social circle recommends. Reward schemes may be a way to increase the incentive for people to spread the word.

4) Volunteer to speak at an event

If there are events in your local area that apply to the industry you’re in, consider volunteering to be a speaker. This is a great way to get in front of potentially hundreds of people and market yourself as a leader in your area.

Speaking at an event like this proves your skills and knowledge in an area, making people more likely to choose you when looking for your services.

Photo by HIVAN ARVIZU