When you attend networking events, what do you do with the pile of business cards you receive? Do you go back to the office, shove them in a drawer, and never glance at them again until you need to do a clear-out?
You wouldn’t be alone, with one study suggesting that a whopping 88% of business cards are thrown out within a week!
Despite this, do you continue handing out your own business cards in the belief or hope that they will help build connections, and remind people of who you are and your service/expertise?
In an increasingly crowded marketplace, the need to establish and build strong customer relationships is more important than ever. Knowing how to do this effectively is another matter.
Advances in technology and the events of the past few years have brought about dramatic changes in how we live and do business. You are now operating a business in a global marketplace; your competitors are not just businesses down the road or in the next suburb, but potentially anywhere on the planet.
How we establish and build customer relationships has also changed dramatically. In years gone by, it was relatively simple to do this: you took out an ad in the local paper, did a letterbox drop, and interacted face-to-face with your customers. But now, there are a plethora of ways to engage with your customers online, from Google reviews and websites, to each of the many different social media platforms. Business cards are no longer the most effective way to make an impression and stand out.
A much more powerful way to attract attention and nurture relationships – and one that many people don’t think of – is to write and publish a book.
Not only does a book have a satisfying ‘thud’ value, it quickly establishes that you are an expert in your field, gives you additional avenues of visibility, and shares much more with your customers and clients about your processes, philosophies, and successes.
I’ve even heard people describe their business book as their business card on steroids!
The power of a good book
The human need to feel connected through storytelling is something that remains extremely relevant, no matter what else changes in our world.
Writing and publishing a non-fiction business book is powerful for many reasons: it will boost your perceived credibility, it will help develop trust between you and your customers, and it will help you connect with customers in much more powerful ways.
When a potential customer googles you, and discovers that you are a published author on your industry, they are more likely to think of you as more credible and more knowledgeable than a competitor who might only have a website or social media presence.
Writing a book takes time, dedication and – most importantly – knowledge. A book is a very public object, where your expertise is on show for anyone to judge. Your customers know this and value the effort that goes into publishing a book. The fact that you are willing to put your knowledge out into the world suggests that you are a credible figure in your industry.
Writing and publishing a book is also a very powerful way to connect with other industry leaders. Is there anyone in your industry who you admire and think of as an influential leader? Imagine being able to introduce yourself to them as a published author – how much more credibility might that give you in their eyes than just handing over a business card?
Trust is one of the most powerful assets you can have as a business. Everyone is constantly bombarded with information from social media, television and the 24-hour news cycle. Knowing who to trust is proving more and more difficult and often consumers rely on recommendations and Google reviews.
Writing a great book that proves you’re an expert in your industry builds trust with your customers in a whole new way. A book that showcases your industry knowledge and shows how you can help gives readers – and potential customers – a strong reason to trust you. It also serves as a constant reminder of you and your business as it sits proudly on their book shelf.
Becoming your customer’s friend
It’s a busy world and you don’t have time to get to know all your customers personally. Sharing your story in an honest and open way allows your customer the opportunity to get to know you. They feel connected to you, as though they are part of your life, and they will have a greater understanding of what makes you tick and why it is you do what you do.
They will also realise that you understand their problem, because you are showing them that you have been in a similar position. Building this personal relationship can be core to creating a customer base that is loyal and happy to recommend you to their peers.
Should you write a book?
When it comes to building your perceived credibility, trust, and genuine connections, there is no more powerful tool than writing a book. Being known as a published author screams that you know your industry, you have a passion for your work, and you are credible. Customers value this, and they want to have relationships with businesses they admire.
Of course, your book should be well-written, consistent, and well designed – even if your content and ideas are great, a badly designed book riddled with typos will quickly damage your reputation.
If you would like to learn more about how a book can boost your relationships with customers, or if you would like help with creating your masterpiece, get in touch with the team at Dettori Publishing.
Writing and publishing a book that you are proud of, can change your life – and is an awesome way to develop strong, positive relationships that will benefit you and your business for years to come.