When you own or run a business, customers aren’t the only ones with whom you need to build a strong relationship. Positive B2B relationships are beneficial for generating new online and walk-in leads and improving your business’s reputation.
B2B relationships are building blocks for business success. However, it’s necessary to build these relationships with mutually beneficial partners in order to prosper in today’s marketplace. These partnerships give your business a wider reach and puts your products and services in front of more potential customers than individual consumer marketing.
Getting it right
A common mistake made by many businesses is misunderstanding what makes a good B2B relationship. Too often companies court relationships with unsuitable companies that don’t provide a reciprocating benefit.
Before pursuing a strategic B2B relationship, ask yourself these questions.
- Can what I offer help other businesses expand the products or services that they offer to their customers?
- Can I use a product offered by the other business as a selling point to my clients?
The right partnership helps you build your business, generates more clients, and expands the reach of your brand, products, or services.
Follow one, or all, of these industry-proven tips to establish and nurture strong business partnerships.
A business worth building a relationship with understands that the relationship must be mutually beneficial, not just for their advantage. When you approach another business for a partnership, be clear as to how your organization can benefit from their business as well as how their business can benefit from yours. This minimizes miscommunication and prevents both you and the other party from investing time an energy into a relationship that is not worthwhile.
Remember, it’s not just about you
Take a genuine interest in the other business’s success. Find ways to help your B2B partner succeed—add their events to your calendar or feature their product in an article. Collaborative attitude and effort ensure that you’re holding up to your end of the relationship.
Build a multi-level relationship
Who says a great exchange can only exist at the C-Level? The most effective B2B relationships cross multiple levels of business making for a stronger, more communicative alliance. Encourage your content creators, techies, and marketing teams to collaborate on different projects.
Share your best customers
If another business’s product or service complements your product or service, tell your customers about it. It improves your relationship with that business. If your products or services truly complement each other, they’ll be able to do the same for you. You also build your relationship with your customers by helping them see that you have them in mind by referring them to a business that suits their needs.
Business needs change—some change faster than others. Your B2B relationship will falter if you and the other party never revisit and adjust your goals. Communicate well and often to keep your partnership strong. Check often to see how the other company is doing; candidly convey your business goals as they evolve; be honest when a joint effort doesn’t go as planned.
Make your B2B relationship a priority
Like personal relationships, B2B relationships need to be a priority if you want them to work. Don’t ignore other responsibility to focus solely on a B2B partnership but make it a regular item on your to-do list. Answer calls and emails in a timely manner; keep up with social media duties; and refer new customers as you find them. Never let your partner think you’ve dropped the ball.
Put it in writing
Whether your B2B relationship is a casual one or one based on strict guidelines, you can benefit from putting it down on paper. Writing down both your goals and intentions and those of your partner business will clear up any confusion on what the relationship entails. Just like a business plan, what you write will guide you when you feel a little lost, and it’s something you can update as each business’s goal is met or changed.
Positive, effective B2B relationships are proven to grow business. As your business grows, you may find that growing pains have you in a pinch, Allied Financial Corporation is here to help you with day-to-day expenses, expansion capital, or a line of credit. Contact us today to discuss accounts-receivable financing.