As the captains of industry pore over endless market intelligence in the process of seeking the optimum strategic direction for their companies, there is one discipline that is fast becoming a core strategic tool in this process, the closest thing yet to having your own crystal ball.
Relationship marketing through extraordinary events has moved right up the food chain as companies seek to secure and enhance their future revenues through a highly strategic and direct approach to their existing and prospective customers.
This is about creating a calendar of events that provide unique experiences which research has demonstrated your clients are passionate about. Delivering the events when you want them, where you want them, and on a scale and budget that makes most sense for your business. These events provide the forum for you to spend time with your clients and prospects in convivial surroundings to learn from them, while concurrently demonstrating your appreciation of their business and showcasing your creativity and professionalism through the event experiences themselves.
Analysing which individuals are the key decision makers within your existing top customers and forming a matrix of who within your organisation have relationships with those individuals is as far as many organisations go. However, ranking the perceived level of these relationships can make for scary reading.
Very often a high percentage of revenues are derived from customers with whom you may have a single high level relationship, and at times you will discover that these relationships can be tenuous. High staff turnovers on both sides can contribute to vulnerability of relationships, as can a myriad of both internal and external influencing factors. Historic data can provide pointers to the past, but only regular face to face dialog with your customers can give you a vision of the future.
Unless you proactively analyse the current relationships between you and your customers and run a proactive relationship program, you may be blissfully unaware of new opportunities or threats to your retention.
Your existing customers hold your future in their hands. They control your revenue, your profitability and they are the pivot upon which your economic performance balances.
You can only influence their actions when you know you have a problem – or an opportunity, and you will only be aware of these through a series of face to face meetings during the year at which such discussions can flow.
Six reasons to establish an events calendar for relationship marketing:
It costs five times more to secure a new client than to retain an existing one, and this cost ratio is likely to increase, so investing in your current clients makes eminent sense.
You will learn about what is happening and what is about to happen by talking to your customers. This knowledge can be vital for your future.
Establishing multiple relationships within companies is vital, especially where there are high staff turnovers. Always remember that today’s guest could change jobs tomorrow and bring a new client. It is all about the relationship.
Through the events program, you will invite your prospects to your events, build relationships, and introduce them to your existing clients, who can be your referral champions.
Not only can you reward your staff through events, you can showcase your up-and-coming talent and your staff’s dedication to your clients.
PROVIDING A NETWORKING FORUM
Networking is often cited as one of the most compelling reasons invitees accept invitations to events. If they know their fellow guests will be of networking interest to them, they will turn up to all sorts of events.