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Relationship Marketing: Like A Water Bucket — With Holes!

Business-Building Ideas From Terry L. Brock

Relationship Marketing is much like keeping a water bucket filled. The bucket has holes in it and it is your job to keep the water at the full mark. That requires three kinds of activities: 1) Putting water in the bucket. 2) Keeping the holes patched, and 3) Preventing new holes from appearing. As a Relationship Farmer, it is your job to tend to these never-ending tasks.

You want to keep your business relationships fresh and current. Stay in touch with important people. This also means that you have to prioritize among those who are important and others who deter you from your goals. Those who are a drain on your time, money and effort (TME) should be avoided. Those who don’t embrace a value-for-value interchange should be avoided. Spend your TME on establishing, building and maintaining profitable, mutually beneficial relationships.

One way you can do this is with the right tools around you. One I recently tested is the new Fujitsu S1500 scanner. WOW! Installation was fast. At my office, we installed it on two older Windows machines and it works very well. Total time for installation was just a few minutes and the scanner was chomping away at massive amounts of paper in a few minutes.

In one test we ran, I grabbed an older copy of the Harvard Business Review which had 106 pages in that issue. I had my assistant, Natalya, cut out the pages with an exacto knife so that each page was separate. Then she took the pages about 50 at a time and in 60 seconds (yes, we timed it) the first 50 were scanned — both sides and in color. The second batch (we did the remaining pages, even though the Fujitsu manual says it only allows 50 each time) and it worked fairly well. We had a little jam on the second batch only because we didn’t put the pages in just right. However, once it was corrected, everything went well. Further tests showed that once we lined up the pages evenly the scans were rapid and accurate.

This is a WOW! customer experience. When you find a product that helps you accomplish critical tasks quickly, easily and at low cost, it is a winner. The Fujitsu S1500 scanner is such a winner.

Now don’t tell the people at Fujitsu I said this, but their new scanner really isn’t a scanner. Oh yes, it processes paper of all kinds from business cards to hand-written notes to magazine articles with aplomb. But it really isn’t a scanner. It is a Relationship Marketing builder. You can use this tool when you read a great article, see a picture or some other item that can help one of your clients or important contacts. You can quickly scan it and then attach it as a PDF to an email for someone else.

Also, you can use this to scan copies of hand-written notes taken during important telephone conversations. That way you can quickly see a collection of all past conversations with important people on important topics. Just keep those PDF documents related to, say, client Jane Jones, in one folder. Review that folder’s documents quickly before a call or meeting with Jane Jones and you’ll be far ahead of the competition.

This is another way to keep your relationship bucket filled. You’re plugging holes and you’re adding more water to the bucket. Think of the water as the feelings and disposition prospects and clients have towards you. Think of the bucket as the overall relationship you have with them. You facilitate Relationship Marketing by leveraging technology. Stay front of mind with that important client or prospect in a favorable way and you have a much better chance to do more and better business.

Here’s another suggestion which can help you keep your Relationship Marketing bucket filled. Plan to send about 5 post card messages a day to important contacts. I have some postcards that I had printed with my picture and a brief mention of what I do as a professional speaker and marketing coach. Usually the cards have messages just saying hello and meant to stay in touch with important people in my life. No, this doesn’t make the sale come through. However, it keeps the relationship active in the mind of the client or prospect. It helps to patch holes and fill the Relationship Marketing bucket with the life-giving water of business growth. Since few people do it today, it helps me stand out in a favorable way. See more examples of Relationship Marketing in video and audio, on my blog at You’ll find a lot of information that can help you and your people to build solid, profitable business relationships

By the way, in an era of way too much email, Twitter messages, Facebook postings, LinkedIn and other digital messages, a nice, analog, hand-written note on a letter or postcard can stand out in a very favorable way. A personal phone call or better yet, personal visit packs a powerful punch to enhance relationships.

Keep your Relationship Marketing bucket filled. Use key principles and practical technologies to favorably impress important people. This will not only keep the water in your business but it will taste very sweet on a hot day when you’re thirsty.

(Fujitsu S1500 Scanner, US$495.00,
for Windows and Mac)

Copyright © 2009, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc. Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and professional speaker who helps businesses generate profitable results. He can be reached by e-mail at or through his website at Join the Twitter adventure with Terry through his Twitter address: TerryBrock.

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