Guest Blog: Use Your Online Dating Skills to Improve Your Business’ Networking Scheme

You can bet your online dating plan of action to find people you’d like to date is quite similar to your business marketing scheme of attracting new customers. In order to be successful in online dating, you need good presentation and, most definitely, an eagerness to get to know your potential date…or, in the business sense, your customer.

Sharing Gifts

With many online dating sites, a site member has the opportunity to offer a virtual gift to another person to jump start communication. It could be an icon of a bouquet of flowers or a shiny necklace. Whatever the gift is, it gets attention and is more effective than a simple “hello,” as far as online dating goes. Carrot Dating, for example, is an app where you actually bribe a person to go on a date with you.

Sounds pretty similar to how you entice customers, right? It’s more than just telling them who you are and why you’re the one. Offering a promotional discount or sending a gift basket is a huge incentive that makes an impression and, at the very least, they’ll remember your name. Companies like Five Four Club keep customers’ attention on a regular basis by offering gifts at a reduced price each month. For any business, big or small, it is a great idea to offer a new customer a one-time discount that will encourage them to try your business out. Much like dating, offering to buy that potential date a few drinks at a local brewery to get to know one another is a cordial yet tactical way of winning a date over.

Comparing Similarities

You hear often that opposites attract. In business, that’s not the case. And, arguably, for many, it’s not the case in dating. You have to have at least some similarities with the person you’re trying to court, be it in dating or in business. A person looking to buy vegetables isn’t going to look for that in a candy store, for example. So when dating or expanding your business network, you want to aim for the right kind of potential dates/customers. Niche marketing basically aims only at those types of customers (dates) that fit your brand (or style).

Direct mailing is one way of cutting the fat and getting to the good meat, so to speak. Contrary to some belief, direct mailing is still effective in conducting your niche marketing. It assures that the potential customer will see your message (as they have to physically take it out of the mailbox) and it can be aimed at, such as the Baby Boomers, who are retiring at a high rate and have the money to spend, for example.

Express Interests in Their Interests

A big part of online dating is listening and learning about the other person and getting to know how they feel and what they’re like. This is a golden strategy for business owners looking to not only attract new customers, but retain as regular customers. How does a business do that? By providing a feedback feature on your business’ website or social media platforms. You can either install a message board on your website or be really involved and encourage interaction with the public through social media, like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Giving consumers a chance to talk to you about your products, be it praising or constructive criticism, it shows you are open and communicative, which in turn can build their trust in you. It also proves that the customers are ultimately the ones who drive your brand, not the other way around. Much like dating, if you’re doing all the talking, there aren’t going to be as many potential dates who are just wanting to listen to you rant and rave.

Running into shy dates/consumers? Add a blog to your website and spark conversations about topics relevant to your products and the consumer you’re targeting; 97 percent of consumers look online for local services and products, says the U.S. Small Business Administration, just as more and more people are looking at online dating services to find love. Just as in dating, if you can spark a good conversation with someone, you’ve already made a quick, great start into establishing a good relationship. A blog can do that for you, arguably in both the dating scene and business.

Courtesy Social Monsters.org

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