It is an erroneous assumption that B2B is somehow insulated from the source of most income, the general public. If your client goes out of business, your B2B loses that account, and you lose an income source. Of course you need to worry!
The more your company understands and assists your clients to sustain and grow their customer base, the better your chances of keeping that revenue. Don’t be the last one to find out your client is in trouble. Be proactive and help them stay healthy so you too will benefit from their success.
Here are some ways your B2B can help your client or customer:
1. Take an interest in how they make their income, including its source. Is it another business that sells to another business that eventually sells to the public? How many layers exist before reaching the end-user? Do they sell direct to the public?
2. Take an interest in their industry, including the trends that are on the rise or decline. Are your customers experiencing rapid growth, or having difficulty maintaining their market or price points? The answers to these questions can give you a big hint about how you can possibly help them.
3. Show them how to buy your products or services to best match their current needs. When they are in a growth cycle, provide them with discounted quantity purchases. When they are struggling, provide them with longer terms. By being sensitive to their needs beyond your product or service, you help them and your company succeed.
4. Provide them with information and objective feedback. Show them that you care and act like an engaged team member. Your input will be respected since they know you have an interest in their success. You may have some insight that only an outsider could have, or you may see something in the market that they may have missed.
5. Keep your eyes peeled for talent. You may have more contacts than they do, thus, you may be aware of hiring opportunities they may not know about. Find out what they are looking for and pass the word. Strong companies and strong clients are made up of strong people. It’s their most valuable resource.
6. Call for a meeting in person, if possible. Ask about their business challenges, growth, and customers. Let them know you care about their business and are interested in helping them succeed. A face-to-face will reveal lots of information that an email or phone call can never achieve. And it helps build an invaluable personal relationship.
When you think about it, there are many ways you can help your client remain viable beyond what you are selling. You will win their loyalty and increase their purchase orders by being a real team player.
No business is truly isolated and insulated from their client’s customers. As these last few years have painfully demonstrated, we are all interdependent. The more you know about your customers, the more you can help and the more your B2B will continue to be.