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Make A Friend. Grow Your Business!

Make A Friend. Grow Your Business!

Cheri Martin

One of my biggest pet peeves is an ‘automated sales call.’ And this is coming from a top telemarketer and former call center manager. Yes, I was once one of those individuals who called to sell you a children’s book club membership, set an appointment for family photos, or book a timeshare tour. I also grew my first business, a web design agency, via cold calling. What contributed to my success was that all my calls were directly from me, not an automated recorded message telling you to “hold please.”

I enjoy talking with people, and early on in my sales career, I discovered that folks love to talk about themselves. So I learned how to ask better questions and then I “really” listened. Using this lesson and appreciating that, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care,” a quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, was an important catalyst for me in developing relationships and has served me well over my many years in business.

When I look at all the sales positions I have held, whether in retail, telemarketing, or business, I continuously have tried my best to practice “relationship marketing.” This phrase was not heard much before the era of social media, however it has always been an important factor in effective customer relationship management. So what actually is relationship marketing? It is an ongoing process that concentrates on developing long-term relationships by providing value. It centers on customer loyalty and lasting engagement rather than focusing on just getting the sale!

Think of it as simply making a friend, though there is an art to it and it does take perseverance. My mentor, John C. Maxwell, says it best, "Everyone communicates, few connect." To accurately connect and strengthen your communication that has the potential to grow your business, create a strategy that will direct your marketing efforts toward building a loyal network — connecting and fostering a know-like-and-trust relationship. This is done by nurturing your connections through your communications — face-to-face conversations, networking activities, social media posts, email marketing, and promotional campaigns.

Each of these tactics work, yet which one will be the most effective is determined by your network’s behavior. When it comes to choosing which social platforms to use and where to put the most energy, it depends where your ideal audience is hanging out.

The secret to acquiring power-building relationships is to shift your approach and be open to new opportunities that will expand your reach. Engage often with your connections with the intention of getting to know their wants and needs. Listen to learn their problems, pains and challenges, then concentrate on offering valuable solutions that will make their lives better. By becoming a resource, you will not only gain new customers, you will cultivate brand ambassadors, who will then become your best salespeople.

Let’s connect, join me on Facebook at

Cheri Martin, co-founder of WCN Interactive, Inc., a web consulting network, is known as the So Social Visionary. She is a social media specialist with 20 years of online marketing experience, bestselling author, recipient of the Golden Mouse Award for 2016 Social Media Marketing Leader of the Year and a certified Constant Contact email marketer. Cheri is eager to share her expertise so others can discover how to get the best out of social media marketing to expand their visibility, develop relationships and increase their revenue.

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