This article was written by Eden Sand, business development expert at TechFinancials.
In a world where everyone is trying to grasp new clients via every form of communication, competition is fierce! As easy as it may be acquiring a new client, it’s as easy to lose one as well.
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Taking prospects from ‘lead’ to ‘partner’ takes some effort, but the post-sale stage of keeping your partner’s needs and expectations in mind when you provide an ongoing product is the stepping stone to establishing trust.
First, you have to literally become their business partner. This doesn’t mean just selling them your venture, but have them always come first. It’s all about truly understanding their business goals and objectives, and making sure your actions supports your weight in the partnership.
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It all starts with your attitude
In order to maintain a long term growth, the provider must see himself as a supportive element. Even if the service you provide is a fundamental aspect of the business, you do not run it. You are holding a supporting role that ensures your business partners to reach and exceed their goals – hold your position as a provider and provide! Be the best provider you can be, treat your partners with respect, honesty and dignity.
Make it an easy process
Your partners did not approach you because they had some extra piles of cash to burn through and thought you might enjoy it. They are coming because they don’t have the ability to generate the service you are offering themselves, and at the same level of professionalism. As they trust you with their project, they have their own daily agenda to follow. This means you cannot waste their time! Make sure your on boarding process is a well-oiled machine, managed by your best team of experts. Your partners can’t and will not be able to micro-manage you on this point, so make it simple, easy and smooth.
Make their interests your interests
In everything you do for your partners, make sure their interest is your interest. To truly form a meaningful partnership, you have to become a ‘student’ and understand every aspect of your industry and their business. Always try and think outside the box.
When a partner joins in, they start to gain trust in your business. In order to guarantee that trust and turn it into a long term partnership, you need to have fluent communication with your partners. Remember, they want to talk to a real person, with a name, voice. Someone who knows the answers, is patient and most importantly deliverers timely and practical solutions. Always be available in all communication channels, and if you support worldwide operations, have 24/7 support.
Remember the WOW factor
Always look for new ways to wow your partners and keep the relationship fresh. As you continue working with them, take some extra time and efforts to come up with new ways to impress them, and make their life easier. Try to divide your resources so that you can invest in research and development (R&D), and bring new optimized features and ideas to enhance their business. It’s not enough to just create new features, you must make sure your client can actually benefit from this.
To sum it all up: people do business with people they trust.
A true B2B collaboration isn’t about creating a one-time blitz, but instead looking for ways to support each other over time, and make it worthy of everybody’s time.