Building Customer Relationships: Why You Can’t Go Straight to Marriage

Building Customer Relationships: Why You Can't Go Straight to Marriage


What do business and dating have in common? Relationships. Before you start dating someone, you have to nurture and develop a relationship with that person. This means learning more about each other and understanding the benefits that you can gain from each other. This framework transfers over into business. Where many organizations fail is they try to go straight to getting their customer to commit to their product.

There are three steps in the relationship process: Curiosity, Enlightenment, and Commitment. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the three steps and how you can implement them into your sales and marketing strategies.

Stage One: Curiosity

Think about why we first show an interest in someone. Why did you try and talk to a complete stranger? The answer is curiosity. That person had some characteristic or said a specific thing that got your attention and left you wanting to hear more. This is the foundation of all relationships.

With business, in order to actually start talking to your audience, you need to draw their curiosity. They’re craving someone or something to make them curious, it’s nature. This can be in the form of an intrusive image (something that stands out), asking them a specific question relating to them, highlighting a pain point they have, or a combination of all. It’s only when you’ve attended to their curious nature that you can start nurturing a relationship with them.

Stage Two: Enlightenment

Okay, so a person’s gotten your attention at the bar by making you laugh, showing a common interest, buying you a drink, etc. Now what? They have to enlighten you as to why you should continue to give them your attention. This stage is ‘make or break’ time before committing to their offer.

This same concept transfers over into the sales process. You got your audience's attention with an ad, email, video, etc and now they’re waiting to be enlightened. In this stage, you need to highlight why they should become a customer. Here are a few examples of ways you can enlighten your audience:

  • Point out the benefits you offer
  • What problem do you solve?
  • How customers like them had similar problems and you solved them
  • What makes you unique?

The key when selling to them it to be as selfless as possible. Your copy should be customer-centric and show what results they’ll get if they become a customer.

Stage Three: Commitment

The person at the bar has been successful in getting your attention (drawing your curiosity) and convincing (enlightening) you on what they have to offer. The next step is to get you to commit to something to continue the relationship. This is where, if the first two stages went well, that a simple question is all that’s needed. This commitment question could be simply asking for your phone number, another date, or just another drink. These are all sub-commitments: Small commitments that lead up to one or multiple large commitments. If these sub-commitments go well, they lead to large commitments such as becoming each others girlfriend/boyfriend, moving in together and even getting married.

Okay, back to your business. You’ve gotten their attention and enlightened them on what you do and how they’ll benefit from becoming a customer. Now it the time to get them to commit. This is where you’ll see a huge fall off. Some prospects are ready to buy and some aren’t.

You’ll want to create a set of sub-commitments such as newsletter sign-ups, free downloads, webinars, giveaways, etc. to get their contact information and build a relationship. This is the equivalent of dating whereas when your prospect buys, they’re married to your product/service.

Action Challenge

We’ve covered the three stages of customer relationships, now it’s your turn. Create a plan and set of content that follows the stages. What type of content will help you meet each stage so you can make it through to commitment?

Getting Their Attention

What’s your biggest challenge when marketing to your audience? Based on our research, chances are it’s getting them to pay attention. That’s where YGMA comes in, we offer a product and service unlike any other: Creative Direct Mail Campaigns. We create custom campaigns with our unique box and plush to get your audience’s attention, develop/nurture your relationship, and get them to take action. Learn more here.


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You Got My Attention (YGMA) is a direct mail provider that offers a unique advantage: a 100% Open Rate. Our signature box has been proven to get a 100% Open Rate while our stuffed animal approach creates a memorable experience. Customers are able to customize their box with their own message and marketing materials inside the box as well as a URL to direct traffic to a specific webpage. Campaigns are simple and quick to set up.

Learn more about starting a YGMA campaign.

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