Relationships: Maintain them

ikea

The commercial reality for any entrepreneur is that sales keep the lights on. No sales, no business.

We are still following rules that were proposed in the late 1800s by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in order to do that.

“The mission of an advertisement is to sell goods. To do this, it must attract attention, of course; but attracting attention is only an auxiliary detail. The announcement should contain matter which will interest and convince after the attention has been attracted.”

And so the marketing and sales funnel followed this four-step process for over a hundred years.

Attention —> Interest —> Desire —> Action

A lot has changed since 1800.

Yes, we still need our customers to take action, but we now have the opportunity to help them do that in a much more sustainable way.

The irony is that entrepreneurs still focus most of their energies at either end of the funnel, creating awareness [advertising] and trying to close the sale [transacting].

Very little focus is dedicated to building relationships with prospects.

Very little focus is dedicated to retaining existing customers.

It’s a smash and grab approach with customers.

See them, sell to them as quickly as possible and then vanish to the next customer and repeat.

Falling in love is easy, staying in love is where the real work is.

Retaining existing customers is as important as attracting new ones.

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