Listen Up!  Marketers talk incessantly about ‘The Funnel’ . . . the iconic image that suggests the ‘Prospect Pathway’ that begins with a ‘lead’ and ends with ::::::drumroll:::::: a customer or client.

The problem is, this is so myopic!  The notion of a ‘funnel’ implies that, once you reach the bottom and generate a customer, the process is over.  FAR FROM IT!!

The FUNNEL . . . Isn’t Really A Funnel Afterall
In your business the ‘event’ of making a sale to a new customer or client marks the end of the initial ‘chase’.  But it also marks (or, should!) the beginning of the ‘real’ relationship between your firm and your new client.

The Story of The Daily Rose
I have a cousin — Bill Murphy of Washington, DC.  He’s quite the fellow.  His wife, Sharon is quite the lady, too.  They have a big, wonderful family and operate a foundation (Mary House) in ‘the city’ that provides homes to families who have been battered by bad spouses or cruel governments (think Bosnian refugees). President Bush even recognized Bill as one his ‘1,000 points of light’.  So yeah, he’s a cool guy.

But here’s why Sharon and Bill have such a great relationship.  Every day, and I mean EVERY day since they were married (and they’re grandparents now, too!) . . . Bill gives Sharon ::::drumroll:::: a single rose.

There’s Light at The End of The Tunnel
What Bill recognizes is that there’s a BIG difference between a ‘wedding’ (one-day, one-time event) and a ‘marriage’ (the ongoing, day-in, day-out stuff!).

Getting married isn’t that difficult.  The challenge is to honor the relationship you’ve started . . . so you stay married!  Like Bill and Sharon Murphy of Mary House in DC.

The Lesson to Take-Away 
Like a marriage, the relationship you formalize with a new client  (marked by an ‘event’  — i.e. the first sale) holds the FUTURE POTENTIAL to give you many, many more sales.  IF . . . you’ll honor and cultivate the relationship you’ve started with your new client.

That may not  require a daily rose (but what a great idea, no?). But it does mean nurturing your relationships with clients, prospects and COI’s, too.

Keeping those who have demonstrated that they value what you offer . . . keeping them thinking of you first, foremost and most favorably the NEXT time they need what you offer . . . is what relationship building is all about.

KEY POINT:
The Duct Tape Marketing ‘hourglass . . . is our image that recognizes there’s far more than a single sale involved . . . there’s a lifetime of repeat sales . . . waiting for you if you just honor the relationships you start.

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