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Five Tips for Creating Relationships That Drive Sales

by Tom Cates  |  
August 15, 2013

Strong customer relationships drive sales, sustainability, and growth, especially in today's economy. Companies that build and maintain excellent customer and client relationships lead the pack, whereas those that don't put clients first fall off pace and, eventually, disappear completely.

It is no secret that customers are a company's greatest asset and it costs much less to retain a current customer than it does to acquire a new one. But even though loyalty improvements should be a priority, many businesses struggle to improve the vitality of their customer relationships, especially when they confuse customer satisfaction with loyalty.

Sure, customer satisfaction is important, but to achieve long-term customer loyalty, businesses need to dig deeper and identify proven tactics for strengthening the health and depth of their business relationships.

Why Relationships Matter

A clear correlation exists between the quality and length of customer relationships. Essentially, the stronger the relationship, the longer the customer will continue to do business with you. At Brookeside, we've found that 50% of customers who report strong, "Trusted Adviser" relationships are retained for at least six years. That's a pretty compelling statistic.

A big mistake companies make is not realizing that customer satisfaction does not always translate to loyalty. A satisfied customer is simply someone who has received what he was promised—nothing more, nothing less. Strong customer relationships, on the other hand, imply that you have delivered something extra or provided added value to the customer. Long-term loyalty and the countless benefits that go along with it are awarded to companies that go the extra mile for their customers.

For example, treating your customers with respect on both a professional and a personal level will communicate that you appreciate their business and, most of all, that you value their opinion. Remember the personal details. Did they mention an upcoming birthday or wedding anniversary? Take a mental note and remember to send a card or say congratulations at your next meeting. Let the customer know the relationship means just as much—or more than—the paycheck.

By investing in the development of healthy customer relationships, you can increase loyalty and build long-term value. When you establish trusting, mutually beneficial relationships, customers are also more likely to deliver larger wallet share, higher conversion rates and referrals—all of which are essential ingredients for a successful business.

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Tom Cates is founder, CEO, and Chief Storyteller of salesEQUITY, a SaaS-based client engagement platform that uses a proven quantitative methodology to measure and assess the health of individual client relationships.

LinkedIn: Thomas Cates

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  • by Brent White Thu Aug 15, 2013 via web

    Great article to emphasis the fact that word of mouth advertising STILL is the most powerful form of advertising for any business. People trust the people they have in their networks and the suggestions and input they receive from them carries great weight in helping people making their purchasing decisions.
    Brent White
    Gigs for Digital Marketing

  • by timo Thu Aug 15, 2013 via mobile

    #Brands #Retailers: Create Relationships That Drive Sales via #CEM omnichannel engagement

  • by Harlan West Thu Aug 15, 2013 via web

    I really liked your article. I think one of the areas a lot of businesses could do better with is #3 Solicit feedback. With the exception of hotels, I haven't been asked to give feedback to any business I deal with. I have a feeling that I am not alone in this respect. Businesses can really improve in this area.

    Harlan West
    Client Relationship Development

  • by Gracious Store Sun Aug 18, 2013 via web

    When there is a relationship between a customer an brand, customers trust the brand and are more willing to do and continue to do business with that company

  • by Balogun Segun Mon Feb 23, 2015 via mobile

    No business can grow and remain in the Industry without effective customer Relationship

  • by Mark Hawkinson Tue Apr 28, 2015 via web

    Excellent reminders...It is easy to take a person's system of communicating with customers...and just be satisfied with the status quo...
    This article challenges the reader to go beyond the "satisfied customer" go the extra mile...which, in turn, yields that long term customer we all covet!

  • by Ruth Sat Jan 6, 2018 via mobile

    Very important to handle customers with care, because at the end of the day it's them that will put up a running business ,or destroy it.

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