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By Kim T. Gordon, Entrepreneur Column Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jan. 9--QUESTION: With so much competition, it's hard for a small business like ours to keep from blending into the background. What can we do to help customers think of us first when they're ready to buy?
ANSWER: Successful businesses don't just communicate with prospects and customers for special sales. Today, making your company indispensable is a vital key to marketing success. It's a terrific way to add value, enhance your brand and position against your competition. Here are seven relationship-building strategies that will help you transform your company into a valuable resource:
1. Communicate frequently. How often do you reach out to customers? Do the bulk of your communications focus on product offers and sales? For best results, it's …