Relationship Marketing Tips for Big Business Success   
By Judith Sherven, PhD and Jim Sniechowski, PhD



While there is a lot of chat and PR about relationship marketing and how it’s more and more important to your business success, it is often difficult to discover what “relationship marketing” requires you to provide for your customers.
Typical hard-sell marketing focuses more on the customer within the person —  instead of the person within the customer —  so we can’t look there for practical how-to relationship marketing answers.
Instead, we must look to what we call Soft-Sell Marketing in order to get into the heart of marketing success. It’s in this heart-based, soul-guided method of marketing that relationship takes center stage as the core secret to your career enjoyment and big business success.

Before we provide several relationship marketing tips you can put to use immediately, it’s important to share with you our business success story. We got started in marketing and sales just four years ago, coming onto the Internet after 17 years as psychotherapists specializing in dating and marriage counseling.

As a husband and wife psychology team, while we tried to promote our products with the hard-sell marketing methods we saw  everyone else using — it just didn’t fit. It didn’t fit for who we are, nor did it fit for the people we were marketing to.
We knew there had to be a better way. So when we started writing our own heart-based sales copy, and then teaching our Soft- Topic Copywriting Secrets course, that’s what gave us a more in-depth appreciation for the needs of the soft-sell marketer — those people who are service providers and care-givers.

And that ultimately gave birth to what we call Soft-sell Marketing — focused on a conscious relationship connection with your reader as the core value of exchange — long before any money or product has even changed hands.
In case it is not clear what Soft-sell Marketing is — think about it this way... It’s all about the difference between ROI and ROE.

If someone buys something from you and they expect that the money they paid for it will return to them plus a profit, that’s called an ROI — Return on Investment — transaction. This is the way most standard investment transactions are designed and understood, with stocks, bonds, real estate, and business take-overs being key examples.

But this ROI business model simply does not work if you are a service provider, care-giver, life-enhancement expert of any kind.    
Let’s say that you are a parenting counselor and a couple comes to you for advice with their 5 year old. You make a suggestion and it works. Their child is better. And they give you a check.
Do they expect the amount of the check to return to them plus a profit? Of course not. That’s not the nature of the transaction.

What you’ve done is changed their life experience. And for that type of transaction we’ve coined the term ROE — Return of Experience.
Soft-Sell marketers specialize in ROE — Return of Experience.
And it’s for you, the ROE marketer, that Soft-sell Marketing is designed for and dedicated to.

If you search Google
for “relationship marketing,” you will discover that the first several organic free listings are about data-based marketing. Then you’ll discover several sites that center around strategies to produce customer and brand loyalty
. But so far what you’ve encountered amounts to hard-sell marketing lite — all tactics and strategies — no relating person-to-person, heart-to-heart.

That’s why Soft-Sell Marketing emphasizes the need to personally identify with your customer, to have an internal bond with the people you are speaking to in your promotional sales copy, in your radio show, your platform presentations, anything you do that promotes your special excellence, your specific genius that benefits others.

We’re talking here about relationship marketing from within the heart of marketing — not just some clever tricked-out relationship-strategy put together by some whiz kids on Madison Avenue.
We’re talking about the real thing, the genuine heart-felt relationship you experience in relation to your potential customers whether they buy from you or not.

So, what is your deepest relationship with your ideal customer? That’s what you’re after in order to experience big business success that’s organic to who you are and who your ideal customers are.

• Answer the question: What problem(s) have you had that your ideal customer is currently seeking a solution for?
• What emotion(s) do you feel toward the need(s) your ideal customer brings to their search for you and what you provide that will alleviate their problem(s)?
• How has your life improved because of the solution you’ve created that you’re now marketing to help other people achieve the same or similar results?    
• How does it make you feel to know you can provide that kind of lifestyle improvement for your customers?
• How does it make you feel when your satisfied customers go out of their way to thank you for the value you’ve provided for them?
• Given your answers to the questions above, what are the three most important customer-benefits you want to make sure to include in all of your marketing messages?
• And how can you put your emotional connection with your customer more openly into your relationship marketing?

When you bring yourself into the heart of marketing, your customers have a clearer idea about who you are and what you care about — is it them, or is it just the money?
And when it’s them — your customers — then they know that they are safe with you, they are at home in the marketing relationship that’s dedicated and designed just for them. And then you have the basis for big business success that values and lifts up both you and your customers.

For more information about Soft-Sell Marketing, visit   

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