Tips and tricks20. 2. 2024

How to build relationships with  B2B clients

A business cannot function without customers. This principle applies in  B2B segment as well as in retail. It is therefore worth investing in quality relationships with the right clients. But how to do that?

At first glance, it might seem that building relationships in the B2B sector is easier than in B2C. Target groups in B2B are usually not as numerous as in retail, so marketers and salespeople spend more time with fewer clients.

But the reality is different. Creating and maintaining quality relationships with clients – relationships based on trust and respect – is a long shot even in the B2B field. It takes time, effort… and shortcuts usually don’t work.

Why are quality relationships key in the B2B segment?

To put it very succinctly and pragmatically: Quality relationships are good for business. But let’s elaborate a bit.

Good relations with B2B clients:

  1. They increase client retention. Satisfied clients who feel valued and listened to are less likely to switch to a competitor for petty reasons. At the same time, there is a greater chance that if something goes exceptionally wrong, they will forgive you and remain loyal to you.
  2. They increase the value of orders: Clients with whom you have a good relationship tend to be willing to invest larger amounts in your products and services. They know what to expect from you and are confident that they will get their money’s worth.
  3. They build your reputation: A personal recommendation is the best advertisement. Satisfied clients are happy to share their positive impressions with others, and you can easily acquire new customers – customers who will enter into cooperation with you with positive expectations.
  4. They open the door to feedback: If you have a good relationship with your clients, they can give you constructive feedback about your products, services or even customer support in addition to positive reviews.

Which relationships are worth building?

Since developing business relationships takes time and effort to say the least, it’s worth thinking about which ones to focus on.

Therefore, in his article, Jeff Bevis recommends asking yourself two questions:

  • Can what you offer help other businesses improve the products or services they provide to their customers?
  • Can you use a product offered by another company as a selling point to your own customers?

These questions will help you identify relationships that are worth investing in because they have sufficient potential even in the longer term .

It’s not calculated. It’s reasonable. The amount of relationships that you can develop in a really good way is always limited.

How to build relationships with B2B clients?

There are many ways to develop and strengthen relationships with your clients. We select the ones we consider essential:

Gain confidence

We have an interesting statistic for you: 88% of B2B buyers say they will only buy from a merchant they perceive as a “trusted advisor”. At the same time, only 32% of them consider business to be a trustworthy profession.

What does that mean for you? Mainly the opportunity. When you gain the trust of your (potential) clients, you are almost guaranteed to be “doomed” to business success.

A few tips:

  • Build a reputation as an expert. Publish in professional media, create quality content on your website and social networks, participate in trade fairs… You can use anything that is effective in your field. It takes time to build a professional reputation. But it’s a great investment.
  • Be reliable. Trust is hard to earn, but easy to lose. Whether it’s about agreed deadlines, the level of quality of products or services delivered, or anything else, show clients that they can rely on you.
  • Be honest and principled. Always keep your word. Don’t be afraid to admit a mistake. Show that you will never compromise your principles – even if it means a financial loss for you. Your reputation is the most valuable thing you have.
  • Don’t forget the power of social proof. Customers in the B2B sector are not cold, emotionless machines either. Through reviews, case studies and quality references, you will shorten the way for them to decide that you are the right business partner.

Listen to your clients and understand their business

This applies to both your existing clients and potential ones. Be interested in:

  • What are their goals?
  • What problems and obstacles do they often encounter?
  • What solution would really make their lives easier?

They may tell you some of it themselves, some you will have to ask. Make it clear to each client that they are a unique partner for you, and not just a record in the CRM system.

Try to offer something extra

Prepare pleasant surprises for your clients. When you give them a bonus (something they’re really happy about) on top of what they paid for, it takes their customer experience to a whole new level.

That bonus can be superior client support, quality training for users of your solution, a free workshop or e-book, a thoughtful, personal gift or anything else.

But we emphasize once again: Your clients must really perceive the bonus as a bonus. Either give them what they already want, or surprise them with something that is guaranteed to please them.

Develop relationships with clients – it pays off

Few entrepreneurs have the ambition to shine for a short time and then fade away. We do business because we want to build something permanent and achieve long-term success.

In order to succeed, it is necessary not only to find the right clients , but also to invest time and effort in building lasting relationships based on mutual trust.

 

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