As the world shifts to a more global economy and the supply chain for many industries and products stretches longer, the volume of B2B (business to business) transactions and relations has grown beyond many predictions. With this growth, businesses are becoming hard pressed to learn the skills and disciplines that are synonymous with building B2B relationships—a task that is easier said than done. At Sapling, we have some pretty valuable experience in the B2B realm with selling wireless clocks to our broad list of dealers and distributors, and truthfully, we’d like to share it with you.
Please find below a list of some of the Do’s and Don’ts of B2B as your company gravitates towards this evolving form of commerce.
1. Don’t lose your cool – You might find that the businesses you sell to will sometimes want terms and conditions that seem unfair to your position. But don’t flip out! Like you, your clients are negotiators, and will try to make the best of their situation. It is better to keep a clear mind and do your best to mediate, instead of losing your temper and therefore losing a potentially valuable customer.
2. Don’t lie dormant – You won’t be able to build a quality relationship with a customer by spending 100% of your time behind your desk. One of the most important parts of strengthening your ties with the people you do business with is putting in some face-to-face time with them. Go visit their facilities, take them out to lunch, and most importantly, show them that you care enough to leave the comfort of your own office.
3. Don’t undercut – One of the most detrimental things you can do to a B2B relationship is sell directly to your customer’s customer after making a written, or even verbal agreement not to. Part of the foundation of your relationship with your customer was that you would play your part in the supply chain and not skip one of those links in the chain. The lesson here is, when you do establish an agreement with your clients, stick to it.
1. Always go the extra mile – Even though you are selling to another business as opposed to a consumer, the customer is still always right. And when it’s time to bend a little for your customer’s wants and needs, sometimes you’ll have to put in a little extra effort to provide a solution.
2. Provide unlimited support – Your customers are your livelihood. You depend on them to sell your product in order for you to stay afloat. For this reason, it is crucial to provide your customers with as much assistance as possible in order to sell your product effectively. If they need certain materials or collateral at the peak of an important sale, you must provide it immediately. If one of their customers has trouble with the product, provide instant technical support. No matter what happens make sure to give your customers every bit of help you can afford to offer—the sale of your product depends on it.
3. Keep them updated – Throughout the life of your company, many internal changes will take place—whether it’s in the culture, management, or even the location of your company. However, when it comes to changes in your company’s product, even slightest shift in, for example a part number or model name, will affect every single one of your customers immensely. This is why as any of these product changes are set to occur, your customers should be the first people to notify—giving them ample time to prepare for the change. If this doesn’t happen, it will have a negative effect on your customers which will snowball into an even bigger problem for your company.
At Sapling, we try and follow these simple rules as best as we can. We understand that our foundation of dealers and distributors of our wireless clocks are the main reason our products can be sold throughout the US and all over the world—which is why we keep these Do’s and Don’ts as a staple in our company as we move forward. As your company delves deeper into the world of B2B, try and keep the general mind state that the customers you choose to sell your product will most likely be your biggest asset, and building the right relationships with them will serve your company well.