Using Outreach to Build Better Relationships

Ever have a conversation with someone that starts out with a self-asking question? It goes something like this:

"How are you?"
"Good. How are you?"
"Well, since you asked..."

It's almost as if the initially-posed question was asked to get you to ask the same question to them. Like they are looking for a way to share some story that is super important, and you need to know about it.

The only reason to initiate the conversation was so they can launch into their own diatribe. Sound familiar?

I think of this as I'm doing two things this morning:

  • Sitting at a cafe overhearing tidbits of conversations
  • Thinking about our next customer outreach / communication

These two things seem to overlap. The discussion noted above is a lame attempt at building a relationship or, at the very least, an insincere way to engage a thoughtful conversation.

I don't want this to happen in our next campaign.

I want you to be engaged. I want you to want to read the next word / sentence / paragraph. And in the end, I want to build / continue building a mutually beneficial relationship.

Pie in the sky? Maybe. But I think the goal in these types of outreach and communications is give you something that is valuable. If not today, maybe tomorrow. Or maybe just the knowledge that *it* exists in case the need pops up in the future.

How do I do this? Here are four pieces I am focusing on:

  1. Plan. Build out a plan, even a simple one, so you know when your expected results are met. Or, when they aren't. This will be an invaluable tool for future outreach / communications.
  2. Know. Who are your customers / clients / contacts? That's really important to know. Targeting. Segmentation. Whatever you want to call it, just make sure the content you are delivering is the right content for the right audience.
  3. Own. Now that you know who your audience is, build the content so that it comes from you and speaks to them. This is super important. The words "relevant" and "valuable" should be on your mind here.
  4. Review. Remember that plan? Take a look at it and see how the results tracked against it. What parts worked? What parts fell flat? What can you change for the next campaign? You might want to share these results with a broader team so you can get some outside feedback. The more the merrier.

Sounds simple enough. Let's give it a try.