Being a successful B2B business is very different from being a successful consumer-facing company. Whereas consumer-facing companies tend to have short and uncomplicated interactions with their clients, B2B companies don’t. In fact, B2B companies often have multi-stage contracts and long-term relationships with customers which can run on for years, decades even.
The key to becoming a successful B2B business, therefore, is managing those relationships effectively. Your company needs long-term relationships with clients to keep a steady income stream and be able to plan for long-term growth and development. Unfortunately, the market and your customer’s needs are constantly evolving, and there’s a risk that your competition might snap up your best clients.
As a result, you need to focus on how to make your client relationships even stronger. Take a look at some of this advice.
Find Out More About Their Industry
Some companies offer a blanket service to all companies, regardless of their industry, whether it’s an accounting company, a software company or something else. But having a generic approach might actually work against you in the long run. The reason? Clients want you to be able to solve their specific problems, some of which are highly correlated with the industry they’re in.
It’s a good idea, therefore, to change the language you use when you speak to clients. Make sure that you use the language they’re used to and sell yourself as an expert in their particular field, even if you’re not. The very fact that you use the language that they use helps you to stand out above the competition. Few of your competitors will be interested in such details.
Clients are supposed to be partners, not problems, and so the last thing you want is to make a mistake on a contract or proposal and get into an argument. Start off by implementing contract management software, a type of software which helps you to organize contracts with clients and automatically renew your relationship with them. Eliminate the human error and make sure that your processes are entirely predictable. This will ensure that simple matters of “process” don’t get in the way of an otherwise flourishing relationship.
Respond To Their Queries Quickly
When clients email you, they want a response right away – it’s human nature. Unfortunately, you’re not always able to give them the answer there and then. A great thing to do in this situation is to send an immediate response letting them know that you’ve got their email and you’re working on a solution to their issue. Just acknowledging their correspondence helps them to feel valued and gives you time to formulate your actual response email.
Keep Relationships Fluid
Client relationships always need to be moving in a clear direction: forward. That’s why it’s essential that after you’ve had a meeting with a customer that you summarize next steps. Clients want to see how their relationship with you is helping them to move their businesses forward. Making sure you’re on the same page helps to align your interests and generate value.