The bottom line is you can't hack a relationship.
Everyone wants to calculate the worth of a relationship.
You can't hack a relationship.
Yes, there are formulas and forecasts to calculate costs of acquisition, retention and replacement of customers, employees, volunteers and donors. But let me ask you something . . . what’s the ROI of your relationship with your significant other, parents, kids, best friend or pet?
Relationships are not a line item.
They’re personal. They’re complex. They’re real.
Relationships take time to build. You wouldn’t walk up to someone you find attractive and propose marriage at first sight. In turn, you can’t expect to secure loyal employees, customers, volunteers or donors overnight. Even this hopeless romantic knows it takes time to get to know and trust someone. Trust is earned, little by little, every time you interact with a customer, employee, volunteer or donor. Seth Godin outlines this in his classic book Permission Marketing.
Once you have permission, you can begin building loyalty. Jackie Huba, author of Creating Customer Evangelists, Citizen Marketers and most recently Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics, remains a reliable source for inspiration and insight.
Gimmicks and games might result in quick, short-term gains but they will never last. Would you stay in a relationship initiated by someone who tricked you to get in the door? You can’t buy love and you can’t buy loyalty. Do you really want someone who only comes around when you offer discounts? Bargain- shoppers bail at the first sight of a sale. If you constantly offer discounts you are discounting your worth in your customers eyes.
Yes, you can offer samples of your work through blog posts, testimonials, stories, videos, strategy sessions, etc. People test drive cars and walk through houses before deciding which one to purchase. This is part of the courting process to ensure what you offer is compatible with someone’s needs.
If you’re serious about building relationships with your customers, employees, donors, volunteers and community, I can help. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more at www.1bluecube.com.