By Lydia Henry
Marketing is the study and management of exchanging relationships. The key word is relationships. According to the American Marketing Association “marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large”. The key word is value.
In simple terms, if you have a product, service or idea that you want to exchange (sell to people or organizations for an exchange of money, goods, power or influence) you must have or build relationships with your target audiences and convince them of the value of your offer.Marketing is the science of building trust and developing relationships. Sales, however, is the actual exchange – for whatever the items happen to be.
I spent a good portion of my training and career in corporate sales and marketing. I was expected to produce more sales and market my products by developing relationships. I learned that I loved: listening to people and asking them questions; finding new ways to nurture relationships and trust; my inclination to be solution oriented; my ability to understand my clients’ pain with an authentic and non-judgmental energy that became my calling card.
Take a moment and reflect on your own thinking and communication style and what methods you currently employ to market your business, to value your business, and to build key relationships that will ultimately net you more sales and profit. What are your strengths and where do you need to strengthen?
I read a book many years ago that influenced the rest of my life, Success Runs in Our Race by Dr. George Fraser, CEO of FraserNet. His book explained how our success in life and whatever we choose to do depends on our relationships. He offered a method to identify and capture our existing wealth of relationships with the purpose of creating a database of potential clients, partners, joint ventures, and connectors. (Connectors are folks who can introduce us to other valuable and strategic relationships.) His theory was the forerunner to the business social media platform, Linkedin.
Explore marketing opportunities via internet/digital, social media, conferences, print and broadcast media, webinars, Meetups, business memberships and Linkedin groups. Join us in the next FunTimes Magazine edition for Part 2 of our Marketing Series Master the Art of Networking.
Lydia Henry is the CEO of Vision Coach Dynamics, Coaching and Consulting; member of the US-Ghana Chamber of Commerce – Chair of Women’s Initiatives; and a certified professional coach specializing in leadership and business. Her background includes successful careers with AT&T and Xerox Corporations in corporate marketing and sales, an international business owner, a Philadelphia School District administrator and leadership consultant, a trainer and facilitator for non-profit, corporate and academic institutions, and advocate for women’s rights and advancement. Lydia is available for group coaching, event speaking engagements, and coaching for personal and professional development.www.visioncoachdynamics.com