photo credit: mark sebastian
According to Wikipedia, and Len Barry who coined the term, “relationship marketing is a form of marketing which emphasizes customer retention and satisfaction, rather than a dominant focus on point-of-sale transactions.”
Contrary to the title “relationship marketing” is not about the relationships themselves, it is about the marketing. The relationship part of this is based on your customers buying habits and their want to continue buying from you. As suggested on CoppybloggerÂ it is notÂ about making a deep connection with your customer to ensure that they keep buying from you repeatedly, it is about listening to your customer long enough to know what their likes and dislikes are in order for you to sell to them correctly.
Now just because you do not know the names of your customers relatives and their life stories does not mean that your customer is not going to buy a vacuum from you today. Customers buy products everyday that are not communicated to them, I buy cheese every week, that doesn’t mean someone had a long and deep conversation with me that made me buy the cheese.
Relationship Marketing is simply about marketing in general. Knowing your customers well enough to be able to sell to them, knowing them well enough and being nice enough to ensure that they will continue to shop at your company rather than someone else’s.