The Butcher, The Baker, & The Milkman

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by Steve Holt on October 11, 2012

Once upon a time, Bob and Susan went to Vegas.  Now, they didn’t go together but they met each other there.  And it was love at first sight. They fell in love, found Elvis, and got married in less than 48 hours.  Now, even with my small wisdom about relationships and marriage (and I emphasize the word ‘small’) I can tell you with some measure of confidence that Bob and Susan didn’t last. It burned hot and quick and simply burned out just as quickly.

I believe too many businesses approach social media marketing like this. They think that if they just get on the right networks, if they just get enough fans, if they just post the right number of specials every day… they’ll be successful.  Their customers will just instantly fall in love with them simply because they show up on social media networks.  And that is simply not going to happen. Even if you jump on every social media network and work your butt off, you won’t be successful unless you approach it with the right attitude.

So rather than shooting for that white hot, sparks flying instant-attraction relationship of Bob and Susan, this is the one you need to be shooting for:

60 years of wedded bliss baby!  Don’t they look happy?? Actually, this is more like what you need to shoot for:

Long-term, meaningful, committed relationships with your customers is the only thing that works.

You see, you have heard that social media is the hottest thing right now, and guys like me travel around telling everyone how awesome it is and how it’s the future of customer interactions. And I believe every word of what I’m preaching.  But the dirty little secret is this… the reason social media is so popular today is not new. In fact, it’s pretty old school.  Let me explain…

60 or 70 years ago in this country the milkman would deliver just the right amount of milk to your doorstep every morning because he knew how much you needed. You could go downtown to the butcher shop and he would cut up your meat for you. And before you even stepped foot in the door he would be cutting it up because he saw you walking down the street and he knew what you wanted.  You could go to the baker down the street and before you walked in the door he knew what you would be buying because he knew you.  In fact, he knew your husband or wife, your kids, where you worked, who your boss was, which church you went to, how you felt about things and he would ask you how your mom was doing when you walked in because he knew her too. That’s what customer relationships used to be like.

And today it’s come full circle because social media can provide that again. It is simply a modern day manifestation of ‘old school’. Not until now have we had such powerful tools at our disposal to make long-term, meaningful, committed relationships with people, just like it used to be.

So if I could just pick one thing for you to take with you from this article, it would be this.  If you want to be successful while you are doing your social media outreach, then it’s real simple. You need to be the butcher, the baker, and the milkman. Figure out how to do that, and the sky is the limit for you.

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