Sujan Patel - Entrepreneur and Marketer, Co-founder of Web Profits has identified that technology connects us to more people than ever before and it continues to make new things possible. However, many leadership, management in the business environment has yet to take full advantage of this lucrative resource.

If you want to build a successful business, you need to focus on building relationships with three key audiences: your customers, influencers and your competitors.

Here’s why building relationships with these audiences will benefit your business:

1. Your customers will love you.

You may be saying to yourself, “That’s obvious. Of course I build relationships with my customers.” But it’s easier said than done. Out of all your relationships, your relationship with your customers may be the most important -- and the most difficult.

That’s because customers know when you’re being inauthentic. They’ve been hounded for years by brands looking for a quick sale. But customers want more than just a one-time purchase. They want to build a long-lasting relationship with a brand.

So, how do you do it? Your strategy should be two-prong: Listen to and understand your customers, and then give them what they want.

Before Sujan Patel begin any marketing program or campaign -- or something as simple as an article like this one – He research his audience. Whom am I marketing to? What do those people want? Asking these simple questions allows him to better understand his customers and their needs, and how his business can meet those needs.

2. Influencers will align with you.

Every industry has its movers and shakers, the ones who are pushing the envelope and moving the needle. And aligning your brand with these influencers can result in major benefits.


Having a relationship directly with your customers is important, but it’s not the only way to get through to them. Sometimes a third party can be a valuable partner in building relationships with your customers. But first, you must build a relationship with that person.

Over the last couple of years, Sujan Patel has made a point of connecting with marketers and practitioners in his field. He has connected through email and Slack and built relationships with these people. But he didn’t initially go out and say, “Hey, please help me with this.” Instead, he started by asking what he could help them with.

Relationships with influencers need to be mutually beneficial. How can you help each other? Today, I’m friends with the influencers in my industry, and we’re constantly chatting via a Slack group, sharing content and information. And, guess what? Because we all write a lot of content, we end up referencing one other, naturally.

3. Competitors will become friends.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why would you ever want to be friends with your competition? But bear with me here. Instead of thinking of your competition as something that needs to be destroyed, think of your competitors as a valuable resource. You’re both going after the same audience, so by regularly exchanging information, you can learn more about what’s best for your business.

For example, I learned from the CEO of Growbots that advertising is a poor channel for both of us because the cost per acquisition is way too high.

Plus, when you’re not bad-mouthing your competition, you show that your business has integrity. Companies that focus so much on putting their competitors down take the spotlight off the benefits that they offer. Customers don’t want to hear how awful your competitors are. They want to hear how good you are.

If you focus on what your customers want, they’ll trust you more. And, when they trust you more, you’ll be able to build the relationships that matter most.

Source Entrepreneur

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