Businesses that make an effort to maintain successful business-to-business relationships are rewarded with goodwill in both their online and offline networks. By taking the time to acknowledge relationships with other professionals, businesses also increase the odds of gaining additional work from acquaintances beyond their immediate circle.
1. Make referrals
When businesses learn of a colleague or business in need of services that someone you know can provide, offer to arrange an introduction between the two entities. Before making a business-to-business referral, try to get a general understanding of the capabilities, needs and budgets of both parties to avoid wasting anyone’s time.
2. Send a handwritten card to show appreciation
Writing an old-fashioned note is a simple way to maintain business-to-business relationships. Unlike sending an e-mail, a card is an obvious, visible reminder of your thoughtfulness. In today’s fast moving society, it is rare to see businesses take time out to personally write a personal message but a small gesture goes a long way. By remembering special dates such as birthdays shows clients that they are more than just a source of income.
3. Pick up the phone to show your gratitude
When a business sends clients your way, acknowledge the gesture with a phone call or small gift. This demonstrates to both businesses and clients that your business is relationship-oriented, and places great value on giving credit where it is due.
4. Use social networking platforms
Online networking can be used to your advantage to build larger business circles and to keep track of existing relationships. Take time to create a professional presence on social networking websites to share your business with others who may not be as familiar with your work.
5. Be attentive and think long term
Keep in regular contact with clients to ensure that their needs are met. Instead of simply attempting to provide immediate solutions for a client’s short-term problem, learn what the company might need in the future. Ask what new developments are in the works and see if your business is able to assist or make any referrals.
As with all relationships in life, it takes a great deal of time and effort to build a strong foundation but you will be rewarded with great benefits. To find out more about building and maintaining rewarding business relationships, please contact Deborah from Clarity Marketing on 0411 139 881.