It’s a perfectly salient and potentially successful business model to run a firm catering to servicing other businesses. B2B connections can be tremendously lucrative, be that finding tenders you can work on, setting up mutual supply arrangements, or providing managed services to a range of business clients.
That said, the negotiated contracts and industrial reliability of the clients you work with can sometimes lead you to take these connections for granted if you’re not careful, and that’s not always a good idea. After all, being sponsored by a particular business or delivering on a contract as well as you can is not necessarily a guarantee that your connection will want to remain with you after the obligation ends.
As such, just as we might with public customers and clients, a crucial development strategy includes making our value proposition undeniable, personalized, as convenient as possible, and growing in potential utility over time. In this post, we’ll discuss how you can orient yourself towards that path by avoiding taking your connections for granted:
Maintain & Invest in Those Relationships
You’ll find that it’s highly valuable to focus on building a relationship with your business partners, and then strengthening and investing in that over time. After all, you pursued those B2B leads for a reason. This involves taking the time to understand their needs, concerns, and goals. Start by researching their company and industry to gain a deeper understanding of what they do and how they operate – as well as what their vision for the future is. They, like you, are looking to compete. When you reach out to them, show genuine interest in their work and ask thoughtful questions. Follow up with them regularly to stay in touch and continue building the relationship. This helps you become the best service for them, fitting into their blind spots like binding glue.
Keep Your Word
Even businesses have reputations, and yes, this is often predicated on how often they keep their word. This means following through on commitments you’ve made to your business partner, whether it’s delivering a project on time or providing them with a certain level of service. It might be that if you’ve promised a certain price, you honour it for the remainder of the contract. To do this effectively, it’s important to be realistic about what you can deliver and communicate clearly with your partner about what to expect. If something unexpected comes up that will prevent you from keeping your promise, be upfront and communicate the issue as soon as possible. This means even mistakes can be worked through.
Yes, this isn’t just for our interpersonal relationships and romantic ties, businesses need to show some love too. You can begin by thanking B2B connections for their business, sending personalized messages or gifts on special occasions, and recognizing their achievements. Take the time to learn about what your connection values and what motivates them, and look for opportunities to show your appreciation in a way that’s meaningful to them. When you demonstrate your gratitude, you show that their custom is not taken for granted.
With this advice, you’re sure to avoid letting those essential B2B connections stagnate.