Every once in a while, a prospective customer visits your website and instantly falls in love with your product or services. Unfortunately, most business owners only rely on the small number of these “love at first sight” customers. They do not understand how to attract customers from a large pool of potential customers – namely the skeptics, the indecisive, the aware but not yet convinced, the forgetful, and the comparison shoppers.

One of the key ingredients in building a successful business is the ability to convert people with all kinds of characters into your customers and keep them for a long time. This will happen when you acquired the skill to build trusting customer relationships.

Customer relationships do not occur overnight. They are built over time in four typical stages. Maximizing all these stages is utmost important to your email marketing business.

Stage One – Promote

Most people have to “discover” or “get to know” you before they are comfortable to build a lasting relationship with you. So, you have to gain the attention of these people during the initial communication. Some effective methods to gain people’s attention are search engine optimization, online and conventional advertising. You do not want to acquire new relationships via email because people may perceive unfamiliar emails as spam. Only use email to gain referrals at more developed stages of your customer relationships.

Stage Two – Associate

Once you have gained someone’s attention, a connection point will then take place if you effectively demonstrate the value of your business to your newly acquired prospect. This also mean that your newly acquired prospect has found something in common with you and is interested to either know more or keep in touch with you. A clear indication that you have made a connection is when your prospect is sharing his or her email address by signing up to your mailing list.

There are many ways to demonstrate the value of your virtual roundtables business to your prospects, e.g. in person, blogs, web site, podcasts, social media web sites, videos, and conventional media. Anyhow, it is important that you cover as many of the following elements as possible when making connections.

1. Exhibit your value from the perspective of your prospects. Acknowledging the specific product or service that your prospects value is one of the most effective ways to establish your business value. This creates a personalized attention to your prospects instead of just showing them the “best” deal.

2. Start a dialogue. The key takeaway here is to determine the level of interest and expertise of your prospective customers. This can happen either in person or online via analytics, surveys and tracking. In any case, a good strategy is to start off with standard open-ended questions. Once you understand the general needs of your customers, move on to closed-ended questions to understand their specific interests. An effective dialogue will enable you to accurately and efficiently serve your customers.

3. Add value to the dialogue. This has to do with how your customers feel immediately after they made a connection with your business and how long the experience lasts in their memory. A follow-up to the initial connection with emails extends the experience. And each subsequent positive connection thereafter motivates your customers to continue in the relationship.


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