Despite the impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic and the significant change to the way we do business, there are some things that are fundamental. In the role of sales in every B2B company, the relationships that business owners, executives and sales mangers hold often result in deals, revenue and opportunities. This is even more so in Melbourne, arguably the one city in Australia where relationships are sometimes more important than the product or service being provided.
Below are some reasons why relationships are critical for B2B companies and professionals:
New Business Opportunities
Strong relationships with other business people of influence opens doors for discussions on how your products or services can benefit a potential client. It creates an environment of focus on how you can help a business and cuts through the process of getting familiar and building rapport, into understanding a potential client's needs into finally discussing specific solutions you can provide.
There is nothing better than a direct referral where the potential client already understands who you are and how your business can provide the right solution - backed by trusted people who have referred them to you. With an established network and strong relationships these referrals happen. Finally, if you are in this position you can also ask your network for referrals or introductions.
This is often an overlooked aspect of business - it is substantially cheaper to retain a client than win a new one. If you have proven yourself individually and as an organisation, including delivered what you promised, this enhances your ability to retain customers. Strong relationships also mean if a competitor is a threat of winning your client, your relationships can be the difference to retention that enhances your ability to get to the heart of the client's problem.
Credibility & Reputation
Reputation is everything in business and if your organisation and the people within it have strong relationships it results in greater business opportunity, retention and referrals. Credibility usually comes from positive personal interactions or experience with you in a business setting.
Similar to referrals, over time having great relationships results in having both brand and personal advocates. This leads into referrals, however can result in significant influence during the B2B buying process.
At the heart of strong relationships is delivering what is promised, ensuring consistent account management and ultimately showing care for your client over time. Make this a focus and it will flow into your organisation.