Updated time: Jan 11, 2021, 05:20 (UTC+03:00)
For B2B businesses, besides the quality of products or services, relationships are compared as bridges which bring the businesses and clients as well as partners together. By generating authentic relationships, entities will have opportunities to expand their business. But questions such as where to approach the right people to build relationships, and more difficult, how to maintain these relationships sustainably are always concerns of B2B businesses, especially small and mid size.
Building and fostering relationships for B2B businesses
With the development of platforms as well as marketplace being gradually expanded, B2B businesses have more chances to approach potential clients and partners remotely.
There are many platforms, especially social media platforms, for B2B businesses to interact with other businesses to look for new trading opportunities. With each platform, it will have different kinds of ways to approach and serve for different purposes.
Facebook is the most animated platform currently which not only B2C (Business to Customer) but also B2B (Business to Business) businesses join to promote the brand image. On Facebook, nearly every industry will have related groups which allow members to share knowledge, market news or introduce products or services to the community. This platform is the great place to approach small to midsize businesses.
Likewise, Twitter is also a platform which B2B businesses should join to find new relationships through online connections. There are multiple Twitter chats relating to each industry opened for people to share news, institutional knowledge and even experiences that are hosted by big brands or well-known individuals. Notable Twitter chats can be mentioned such as '#Scichat' hosted by HubSpot that discussed the science and data of inbound marketing or '#ForrIdeas' of Forrester which methods and datas of customer analytics shared to business.
Additionally, for businesses, especially B2B businesses, LinkedIn is the potential platform for not only searching qualified candidates, but also connecting with people who are at C's levels or work in big brands. Thanks to those connections, B2B businesses can have more chances to build high-value relationships with reputable brands.
Nevertheless, if a business prefers only LinkedIn, the chances to connect with people who are usually active on other platforms such as Facebook,Twitter or even Instagram will be missed. Therefore, being opened with diverse platforms to approach accurate target clients and partners.
Besides social media platforms, industry events are the place for B2B businesses to learn new trends along with discovering networking opportunities. There are many kinds of industry events which can be organised by experts or top brands of the industry or even governments such as trade shows, offline conferences and webinar, workshops, etc.
Meeting potential clients or partners face-to-face can help businesses not only learn new knowledge or gain experiences from other practices, but they also can have a chance to introduce their business and build reliability to future clients and partners.
Personal relationships such as family, friends or business relationships such as current partners or even clients can bring to businesses new opportunities to approach more potential customers. With current partners, businesses share with them mutual benefits, hence, besides valuable business advice or technologies, they can help to propose new clients who have demands to increase revenue of both parties in these win-win relationships.
Furthemore, if current clients trust in the quality of products or services that businesses provide, they are willing to share and introduce to their partners or other businesses in their network. On the other hand, B2B businesses can consider having programs such as a partnership program which will offer additional benefits including discounts or referral fee. These programs can partly encourage clients and even partners to refer the products to other businesses.
Building a network is not too hard. Join industry events, shake people's hands and leave your business card for the purpose of 'later contact'. However, making these networks become relationships and maintain them for sustainable growth is an issue which both B2B businesses and B2C businesses should consider. Maya Angelou, an famous American civil rights activist, said that 'People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel'. Thus, to maintain relationships, businesses have to touch the hearts of clients or partners and make them have confidence in the businesses.
Trust is the glue to hold all satisfied and sustainable business relationships. Therefore, quickly building trust is the greatest concern of any B2B or B2C business whenever they would like to create new relationships. To foster the trust, the business should be explicit about all contracts, documents, strategies or even statements. Clients should clearly understand the values which they will receive from the products they buy. Partners should be perceived benefits which they will get from the relationship with the business.
Making mistakes is unavoidable in any relationship, but the way in which a business faces those problems will instill the trust and loyalty to that business. Thus, let's accept business issues and be honest to clients or partners to make them feel secure during the collaboration. More to the point, B2B companies should provide them solutions for the problems to show that the business is responsible by trying best to undertake the issues and try to accelerate the relationships.
Continually exceeding the clients and partners expectations is the way to make them impressed and stay for a long time. There is no need for B2B businesses to make significant changes or provide great valuable benefits. Just needing to give them extra values to help the working process become more convenient and smooth. High-value relationships need a personalised approach, thus, businesses should frequently follow up to ensure everything works as expected. Show them that every detail is cared for and businesses are willing to support whenever they need to ensure products or services are always high-quality. These small actions can strengthen the relationship between vendors and buyers or partners.
With the trend of globalization, more and more cross-border relationships are built. However, there are costs that arise from geographical differences which can impact on the revenue and later profit of parties. Therefore, finding methods to cut those unnecessary costs can be a way for businesses to add value to their clients or partners and sustain the relationships with them.
With B2B offshore businesses, foreign exchange fees are always considerable costs whenever they have to make global transactions due to the large amount of each transaction. However, this is the 'unnecessary costs' that businesses can consider to cut for themselves and their clients or partners by using an offshore account. In DSBC Financial Europe UAB, we offer offshore accounts which are free of charge for remittances which are in-coming and even outgoing within the DSBC network. Moreover, with our offshore accounts, businesses are able to transfer to other EU banks with reasonable fees. Thanks to that, foreign exchange fees will be saved which help businesses achieve cost-effectiveness but can still wire exchange seamlessly inside and outside the EU.
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