Rhonda Adams says “the best source of new business is old customers.”

Like all relationships, customer relationships have a “life cycle,” progressing from one stage to another:

– Prospect
– Point of sale
– Order fulfillment
– Billing and payment
– Customer service/support
– Additional sales/re-sell

In each stage, you need a way to establish and maintain personal rapport, keep track of your interactions, remember what they’re interested in and their special needs, and stay on top of the things you’re supposed to do.

To build relationships with customers, there is a need for CRM software. Rhonda looks at and Quickbooks Customer Manager.

Marketing Strategy

Ninad Mehta points to an article by Michael Perla on applying Sun Tzu’s ideas to marketing, discussing four areas: speed, strengths and weaknesses, alliances, and successful market capture. Sun Tzu’s comment which applies equally to marketing: “The best military strategy, then, is to use superior positioning. After that, use diplomacy. After that, use military force as a threat. Only after all else has failed, attack your enemy.”