In business-to-business (B2B) sales, relationships mean everything. Strong relationships with clients means more sales. Rather than buying your product or service just once, perhaps a client will buy it half a dozen times. Furthermore, these clients may recommend you to other prospects, which can also yield more sales for your company. To reap these benefits, however, you need to foster strong B2B relationships.
You can't expect to create strong relationships with prospects and customers unless you know them. For what company do they work? How long have they been in business? What are they looking for specifically? Answering these questions can help you create a more personalized marketing approach, which subsequently helps to build a strong relationship.
Whether a prospect makes a purchase or not, you should thank him or her for their time. Some B2B salespersons give prospects the cold shoulder when they are rejected. You have to remember, though, that not all sales occur immediately. Some will happen later down the road, and if you burn bridges by giving prospects the cold shoulder, you may lose them as potential customers.
It's no secret that some clients are more valuable than others. A high-level decision-maker at a top firm, for instance, is probably more valuate than a low-level employee. This doesn't mean, however, that you should treat them differently. On the contrary, you never know which relationships will yield record-setting sales contracts. This is why it's best to treat all clients as important clients.
You can also foster strong relationships by offering advice to prospects and customers. Even if it doesn't necessarily help you generate a sale, offering professional advice shows prospects and customers that you care. Furthermore, it helps to differentiate you from your competitors. Offering some helpful advice to a prospect or customer will set you apart from other companies -- and this can prove instrumental in creating strong relationships.
If you haven't done so already, consider investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. Doing so will allow you to track prospects and customers through every stage of the sales cycle. A CRM solution can also help you build stronger relationships by following up with inquiries in a timely manner. The bottom line is that every B2B sales company needs a proper CRM solution to succeed.