Relationship Marketing – Getting a Balance with Technology

I recently read a reminder about how important it is to keep an online and offline balance with technology in your every-day life, and not to let your online friends take all of your time.  That seems pretty obvious to me, but it’s a valid point.  Many of us are online several hours or all day.  When you are really busy working online it is easy to lose touch with people in “reality,” which means that you need to work on relationship marketing!

Why do you want a balance with technology?

To Build Your Business

Personally, I do a lot of networking in the community.  I think it’s essential to developing close relationships, and you can continue that development online, especially through social media.  Make sure you get those business cards, and that you ask how to connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.  This can be a fruitful way to develop leads and referrals!relationship marketing & networking

Face -to-face communication can also be an effective way to build trust and credibility.  How often have you met someone in the community, had lunch and then set up a business deal?  People tend to trust those that they have a personal connection with.  It takes much longer (never for most people) to get trust and credibility online.  You can’t just throw up a Web site or Facebook page and expect sales, right?  It doesn’t work that way, and it’s not that easy!

If you’ve reached a point where you have online credibility and effective marketing in place, then you may be able to drive all of your sales online.  I still think it’s wise though to have a balance of online and offline communication, and maintain that balance with technology in all walks of life.

Heaven forbid the Internet or social media site goes down.   I’m not talking about your email provider having a hiccup, but entire networks being inaccessible, sometimes even country-wide–like Egypt in 2011.  I remember a time last year when a portion of the Internet was down in California.  I’ve never experienced that wide-spread of an outage before.

Hey, it’s time to call up a friend or prospective client instead of emailing, messaging or texting!  You can’t build successful relationships solely on technology.  There is one big lesson I have learned.  The relationship with your client is the most important thing in your business.  So what if you have a written contract to prevent any misunderstandings, and email status on a weekly basis?  That’s not good enough!  Personal contact is crucial if you want to have a successful and growing business.

2011 outages: Time Warner (November), Apple and Microsoft ( August), Amazon EC2, Verizon LTE and Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft, Sony’s PlayStation Network ( April), Bank of America (March).

people laughingFor Health & Wellbeing

You know, they say that laughter is the best medicine.  It’s not really the same when you write “LOL” in a post, text or email is it?  You aren’t sharing that hearty slap-on-the-back you could give in person, and what about that belly laugh that feels so good?

Besides, humans are social in nature.  We need each other, and we need to disconnect and relax!  Why enjoy a cup of coffee alone?  So I don’t drink coffee, but about 57% of the adult population does, on a daily basis!  (If you really want to relax you won’t be drinking coffee, right?)  Having a home office kinda forces me to get out and meet up with people, which is a good thing!

This blog is part of a series on relationship marketing. How do you achieve a balance with technology?  Any tips or words of wisdom?  I’d love to hear them!

Another Internet Marketing Blog by Tina Reed Johnson