The Beauty of B2B Relationships

A healthy B2B relationship is a beautiful thing to behold, and it’s often up to the sales team to curate those relationships and keep them healthy. How do you maintain a friendly, long-lasting connection with your business clients?

As with most relationships, it helps to treat people like equals. Show that you respect their time, and the work they put in at their company. It goes without saying that you should avoid being late to sales calls, or rescheduling or canceling at the last minute. At the same time, expect them to treat you like an equal. Your time also has value. It’s good to be flexible when scheduling with clients, but if you always let them cancel and reschedule at the last minute, it can make you seem desperate and lead to a loss of respect.

While we’re talking about time, make sure that you’re budgeting more than enough time for your visit with each business. Give yourself a little wiggle room in your schedule so you don’t have to rush out of a sales meeting. When you’re schedule isn’t over booked, it’s easier to be fully present at each meeting, and you can allow yourself to linger after if someone strikes up a conversation or has extra questions.

You should also show an interest in your business clients. Have a Google alert set up for the names of your favorite clients so that you can keep up with what’s going on with them, or just follow their blogs and social media accounts. It will give you some convenient topics of conversation during your pitch, and it will also help you have a better idea of what their current needs and pain points are every time you visit them.

And just like you might set up two friends who seem perfect for each other, you should be willing to facilitate connections between your B2B clients. Always be ready with a recommendation or an introduction when one of your clients is looking for something that another client provides. In this way, you’ll not only be establishing yourself as a good person to know, but you’ll also be contributing to the future success of your favorite businesses!

Finally, be sensitive to the natural ebb and flow of a business relationship. Just like you may have friends that you drift apart from, you may find that your clients experience changing needs that lead them to purchase less often, or even to break off their relationship with you. Be gracious when this happens, as you never know when they might come back to your company, or when your paths might cross again elsewhere in your career!

-AJ

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