The Importance Of Business Relationships – Are You Missing Out?
Our Businesses are not islands. They are fundamentally connected to the world around them. From the people, they sell to or the service they offer to customers. It matters not whether you are an online shop, a blog or a website for your bricks and mortar business. A business must be interested in forging connections with both its customers and its competitors if it is to grow and succeed.
Businesses of any kind should not be completely aggressively hostile to any other businesses. Firstly because you may require their services and support. Secondly because hostility to other businesses may say to your customers that they were stupid to buy from them. This leaves a bad taste in your potential customers mouth.
While it is good to promote healthy competition, sometimes you have to work in conjunction with other businesses to help you reach your own peak performance. Blogging as an example is shown that the best and most successful bloggers promote other people’s work and products. Obviously they are Affiliates of the products and so will be rewarded for promoting them either in their blogs or email marketing
This is also true if you’re a massive international firm, or you run a simple home and online business. Bloggers very often have to build relationships with the big name brands and the big brands need the exposure that popular bloggers, youtubers and Instagrammers can give them.
To forge healthy business to business relationships you will need to exercise a little subtlety and good faith, but you can absolutely achieve this by applying the following efforts:
Contact & Cross Promotion
In order to find a business to conduct cross promotion with, you will need to contact them humbly and explain your business ideas and aims. You will need to show the business in question why you hope to work in conjunction with them, either by supplying them to your customers or being supplied to their customers and what that relationship could look like.
You need to consider what the business to business policy of the company in question is, and if there is any place for what you have to offer. Do your research before diving in to contacting them. You may only get one chance.
You could potentially consider cross promoting, or offering a form of complimentary service to help them become aware of you. This will help build your brand recognition, and your temerity and forwardness is likely to generate some respect for you on their part.
At worst, they can say no, but if you don’t ask then the answer is always No
Gifts, Discounts Or Affiliations
The business relationship may take a while and a few emails back and forth to develop. However, once you have your business to business relationships set up, offering discounts in terms of any repeat service, or sending them gifts or first samples of products or services you offer, can help firm up the relationship.
Offering an affiliate scheme for your own products is always a good idea. People and companies will be more willing to promote you and your product and services if there is a financial reward. Many bloggers will have an affiliate scheme for their products and services. Many of them choose to run their Affiliate scheme through SendOwl who will track and organise your Affiliate campaigns. The bigger companies may use a larger network like Awin to run their affiliate campaigns.
Once the relationship is built, you must actively try to sustain that relationship. If you do this, you can potentially gain even more orders from them, and as long as you’re providing a competent service and meeting your requirements, you may find yourself with a major client and promoter of your products or services.
You must also be willing to be an advocate or promoter of their products or services too. Any business to business relationship must always be a Win Win situation.
Schedules, Deadlines & Supply
There is nothing quite as good at maintaining the business relationship with another firm than fulfilling your orders completely. For larger companies you might use wholesale ecommerce solutions to track your exchange of goods and services and confirm the transaction between the two businesses is ongoing and fruitful.
For bloggers or smaller companies then you must ensure that you provide all orders on time and effectively, whether that is an ebook, a physical product or a service. This is why it is a good idea to use a trustworthy affiliate company like SendOwl or Awin. You must also ensure payments are made on time.
Remember you both stand to profit from this business to business relationship as long as you both meet each others needs well.
For example, you might be a graphic design expert and deliver this service for a chosen company. They in return supply you with the materials and digital tablets to enable you to do that work and also promote your skills to their own customers. This might be worth it, and take you less time than finding new clients yourself. You will both stand to benefit, but only if you are one hundred percent clear with one another about your scheduling, deadlines and supply.
Communication is king, and when it will affect not only your bottom line but theirs too, you should treat this as nothing less than a high priority client exchange.
With these simple efforts, setting up healthy business to business relationships and maintaining them will be more than realistic. Every business to business relationship you have, will be completely different but they must all be mutually beneficial and ongoing. A small mistake can ruin a relationship for good, so make sure you communicate regularly and treat them with respect and honesty.
I hope you have found this post useful. If you have then please give it a share on your favourite social media platform. Sharing is caring!
As ever if you have any questions or have your own thoughts or experiences of business to business relationships you want to share then please leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
With Grace and Gratitude
Please be aware that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one and then make a purchase I will make a commission but it will not cost you any more.
I did not realize how essential it is to build real relationships with other businesses in order to be successful on your own. Thank you for your insight and information regarding best practices. As a blogger, I plan to focus more on researching other businesses and seeing how we can work together towards a common goal now. Thank you!
Hi Mara and thank you for stopping by my site,
I am pleased that you found my post useful. All too often business owners of any kind try to go it alone. Bloggers are quite good at building relationships with other bloggers. A good place to start to build those relationships is within Facebook Groups. I am sure you will find some in your niche.
With Grace and Gratitude