To survive in the business world, you would have to deal with businesses almost every day. It is almost impossible to have a standalone business without the help of other businesses. Having a helping hand would improve your business capacity and efficiency IF the deal is done in the right manner. B2B is a common word we use all the time but when going into a business deal, it isn’t exactly a ‘dead’ business dealing with another ‘dead’ business. Ultimately, it is two people representing their companies coming together discussing a deal. Thus, emotions and personalities will come in the way. Of course it would; we’re all humans anyway. So, what are some important points to keep in mind when dealing B2B especially in building relationships?
1. Stay prepared and well-versed
Even though you may not have a 100% confidence and belief in the product or service you offer compared to your CEO, you can still give a great show if you’re well-prepared. Practising and rehearsing numbers and facts along with personal experience can enhance your pitch to other businesses. Obviously, you should always tell the truth because, in time, a lie will eventually be uncovered and when your potential business partner discovers it, it can heavily affect the deal. Distrust and misleading conduct isn’t a good note to start on.
2. Create lasting first impressions
From the first call to the first meeting, keep your energy and personality the same. I’ve read many other articles and they all said that the first 30 seconds to the first minute is when you have to create your best first impression. However, I beg to differ. Even though the first few seconds of contact is important, I personally think that having a consistent approach carries much more weight. For example, if you’re cool and calm on the first phone call, then you should portray the same coolness at the first meeting. Thus, people will have an easier time remembering you.
3. Keep it as natural as possible
Closing a deal is your ultimate goal but you don’t want to look too pushy in doing it. As a person who initiates the deal, you would want to create an experience for the other party rather than a dull business deal. Play with their emotions, in a good way, and make them ‘forget’ about the deal. Once you have captured their hearts with your charm, the deal is only a bonus. What is important is that a relationship is built.
4. Use social media
I still believe that face to face interaction defeats all technology-based ones but nonetheless, social media is still pivotal. Use social media not as an advertising tool but as a medium to create a personality for your potential business partner. Get yourself in front of them and look more keen (but not pushy) compared to your competitors. Send them indirect reminders of what you do on social media and direct ones through emails. This will enforce your name in their minds and when they need a product or service that you provide, they will remember you.
5. Know your market position
Keeping an eye on your goal is crucial for you. Doing B2B deals are about getting to the area of the market you want to be. It can be a more efficient one or a lower cost one, anything. Continue to review your goals when the business deal is underway. Stay relevant to your target market and target businesses.
6. Attend networking events or create opportunities to meet and greet
Find out the heavy influencers in your industry. It isn’t that hard to know who they are since they are CEOs and head managers of companies but it can be difficult to know them personally. Thus, throw on a thick-skinned face and push yourself out there during networking events. Let people know your name and presence in the industry. It is important to talk about what you do exactly but creating friendships would be your first priority.
These tips may or may not tickle your fancy but it definitely works. The main message to take away here is that: when you are going into or deciding to enter a B2B deal, the reason to do it should be clear and beneficial to your company but what’s most important is to build bridges because even though you use the other party’s service or product once, you’ll never know how you might entwine paths again one day.
For examples of great partnerships and relationships forged, click here.