The internet is changing the way you do business (and now the way you build loyalty with customers). Studies have shown that 83% of U.S. consumers go online to research electronics, computers, books, music and movies before buying those items. I’m sure this number will rise, since customers of all types increasingly have access to high-speed Internet all the time.
But what does this truly mean for you or your organization when it comes to building loyalty?
You must build loyalty with information. The Internet has disrupted the traditional loyalty process, allowing the prospective customer to have the means to research everything, and they do. This means you or your organization must adapt to the information-empowered prospect in a way where “relationships are created by information.”
Recently, I was talking to someone in the market for a pick-up truck, who was very disappointed that he knew more about this specific vehicle than the sales rep. And for him to buy, he wanted a sales rep that had deep knowledge of this specific vehicle, not a brochure-reader. (This reminds me why—even as a car salesman you should be a meaningful specific rather than a wondering generality.) When car buyers come into auto dealerships knowing more about the vehicles than the salespeople because of information on the internet. That creates a new dynamic because then the buyer is in control of the shopping process. Which ultimately means, then the role of the salesperson shifts entirely. And the whole auto dealership industry is one that’s living through this “relationships created by information” revolution.
In order for you or your organization to enormously profit from this new trend there are 4 important components to build loyalty and relationships with information.
- Create a Blog. Blogging is about creating, writing, recording and/or contributing information of value to your niche market (a segment of mainstream). Blogs position you as the expert. Blogs communicate ideas, expertise, news and announcements. Blogs allow for relationship-building and one-to-one relationships.
- Understand your prospects and customers. Know their pain points, dreams, and desires. How can you create a relationship with someone you don’t understand?
- Avoid routine common sense. You won’t win loyalty with your breathtaking grasp of the obvious.
- Educate, and inform before you sell. Educate your prospects, inform them, and help solve their problems. Become a trusted source of information and those prospects will more readily buy from you.
- Have a clear call to action. Tell your prospects exactly what you expect them to do next, and remind them why it’s in their best interest to buy, click or subscribe.
Remember not content but relationships are king in this context. Smart online marketers know that “the money is in the permission list.” In other words, the asset that can be built with information is permission. The privilege of marketing to people who have some interest in your topic, products or services. This asset can be big enough and valuable enough to build an entire business around. See Amazon.com, Inc.
Question: How are you positioning you or your organization to profit from this new trend of information relationships?