I hate to waste anyone's time and if you're reading this article you have graciously given me a moment of your valuable time, and Let me say “I appreciate that”. So, here is the lowest common denominator of marketing. Relationship! Relationship! Relationship!
I have been blessed to be self-employed for 30 years now and I'm only 48. That means since I was 18 years old I've worked for myself in one capacity or another. In the 90's I owned and operated 4 restaurants under 2 brands (Jamie's Place & Jamie's Excellent Munchables) 2 locations each, in the early 2k's I had a business called Assembly Req'd assembling goodies bought at Costco for people. A few years later that morphed into Satellite sales and installation for Dish Network and Starband, a mobile phone (and pager) store. Then a commercial wireless company Wireless Network Integration Systems deploying last mile solutions. In late 2k's a tech company called TechsRx and now I'm a full stack web developer, systems expert, WordPress expert, & marketing machine under Digital Bread, LLC. I work from home, as Digital Bread, LLC is a home based business and enjoy many freedoms like:
- dictating my time
- always with my family
- read a lot
- field trips with my daughter
- long walks whenever I want
I wouldn't give it up for anything. My daily commute is a walk up stairs to my home office from where I currently pen (type) this article. I only drop my background to set the stage for how these early experiences taught me about fostering and maintaining customer relationships.
By nature I'm a sort of turducken biker, hippie, nerd, geek, idiot savant rolled up in one. Very socially awkward growing up and brutally bullied. The saying is true that “those called a nerd in school are called boss when they grow up”. What really opened me up socially was that just before I opened my first restaurant I worked for my Father-in-law (God rest his soul) at his snack shop.
He was the king of sales and knew the secret of relationship building. It was simple and effective and what I'm about to tell you will revolutionize your business and customer relationships. While relationship is the lowest common denominator of marketing, this one tip is the lowest common denominator of relationship. So without further ado I present my most important and basic marketing tip. Learn your customers FIRST NAME, commit it to memory, and use it often.
We all love to be remembered and we all love to hear our name spoken by others (especially in a genuine, authentic and caring way). This is what my father-in-law did and he was adored. People would walk by his shop and he would call out “Good Morning Joe!”, “Coffee's Fresh Theresa!”, “Edward, mi amigo, Tamale's at noon”, etc. You get the idea.
This very simple yet effective relationship builder. As I followed in his footsteps and did the same in knowing his customers first names, I came out of my shell and left that social awkwardness behind. I also made many friends that I still have today. As a huge bonus you will be personally rewarded and enriched as well. Best of all it works in whatever business your in and especially works in your social and email promotion. Be sure to use first names when you can in posts and comments that are directed towards a specific customer. Also make sure that your email marketing autoresponder uses first names and that in your squeeze pages and subscription forms you are collecting first names.