Building business relationships is a lot like building relationships with people. Businesses have personality, style, strong points, weak points, and even insecurities about their looks. Let’s talk about what building a B2B relationship should look like and how it can improve your perspective when getting to know a new business.
From the first point of contact, the goal is to get to know a business and how it operates. When they sit down with you, you’ll discuss everything from values to pain points and everything in between. It’s a crash course on getting to know them and their business while discovering the ways that your particular products and services can solve problems and encourage growth. So, what is the significance of having a business relationship you might ask? I’m so glad you did!
Hearing YOUR Story
When diving into the heart of a business, understand that there is a certain vulnerability that you’re asking for to get to the desired end result. For example, if we’re asking about your employee churn rate, the quality of leads from social media, or how much time sales people are spending answering the same questions over and over, we’re asking you to figuratively turn your head and cough. That’s a potentially awkward request, but an honest answer will help us steer the ship in the right direction enabling us to craft the right messaging. Your goal is (should be) to be custom fit your product or service to their needs. It hasn’t taken us long to figure out how much each business differs from the other—it’s a good idea to keep this in mind. Each scenario is unique and requires diligence on your part to hear their story. So, in order to go deep into vulnerabilities, you need the relationship to support it.
People should matter to us. We should be people, people. The focus of not only our businesses, but the entirety of our lives, is centered on serving others. M.R. Sterling Productions is currently operated out of a converted garage space. So, when you visit us, we are welcoming you into our home—we feel that, and hope that our clients sense it as well. That’s how you should want all of your clients to feel: At home. Even something as simple as (fresh) coffee, tea, or water to welcome clients. We like to joke that even our red couch converts into a bed if need be! I’m sure you will work hard to be efficient with your clients’ time but they need to sense that, given the opportunity to interact on a personal level, you would be eager to get to know them better. It’s a blast discovering friendships like this along the way!
A Trusted Resource
We live in a world filled with options. So, when it is time to make a decision on a service provider, where do you go? How do YOU decide? I am a “go with who you trust” kind of a girl. I love to stick to what I know and trust. That’s not always the best answer. There are times when stepping out “of the box” is good, but in business we need to BE a trusted resource for anyone. You may not have all of the answers but welcome the opportunity to share what you’ve learned. Work hard to educate yourself so that you can be that someone for your clients.
Seeing Eye to Eye
In our line of work, the majority of revenue is generated from businesses (obviously). We meet business owners on a regular basis and are constantly amazed at how a particular business came to be. While each story is different, there are foundational pieces that all have to come into play for a business to come into existence (and stay). We have all had things we had to figure out, we’ve all made mistakes, and we’ve all experienced the highs and lows and “in betweens”. In first generation business owners especially, there is a camaraderie we feel as we hear stories unfold. It feels good to get to know each other and to know that we aren’t fighting an uphill battle that is peculiar to us.
So Much More Than Business
My list could go on with the significance of business relationships. As a stay at home mom for over 10 years, I can tell you that the principles of relationship building are universal and timeless. I’ve really grown to love it! My world has expanded outside the four walls of my house and I now have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people from my town and surrounding areas. Business is so much more than just business to me…at the heart of it all, it’s people.