While many people who create startups focus on consumer businesses, there are those who choose to service other business needs. If you decide that you’d rather focus on helping another business succeed, there are different tactics that you have to keep in mind. Approaching another company involves more than a retail customer in both strategy and delivery. You have to be prepared to fulfill their needs properly and go above and beyond their expectations or run the risk of losing their business to another company who is chomping at the bit to land more clients.
Approaching Prospective Clients
When you’re considering starting up a B2B company, make a list of the ones you’re targeting and develop well-thought-out tactics to make them your customers. Do a comprehensive analysis of what services or products they typically need and do your best to stand apart from the competition. You’ll have to sell your company, so be sure to hone up on your negotiation and conversation skills. If you can’t do this, then consider hiring a skilled salesperson to do it for you, because it is a very necessary skill set.
Catering to Their Needs
Businesses have very specific needs and they differ from private consumers in that they’re not going to impulsively buy products or services they don’t need because it does more harm than good to their bottom line. You have to be prepared to meet their needs immediately or have a plan in place that’s viable to all parties involved. For example, if you service an assisted living business that caters to seniors, you’ll want to consider useful products such as predictive analytics monitoring, which can help professionals monitor seniors who are at risk. The service comes in especially helpful for those who refuse to go into a nursing home or facility in favor of maintaining as much of their independence as they can.
For any hospitality or delivery service, refrigerated delivery lockers make it possible to hold perishable goods such as groceries, meals and even medications.
Before you start doing business with another company, it’s important to hash out the details and get it in writing. A sales contract protects both parties and is a necessity whether you’re doing business once or servicing them on an ongoing schedule. Make sure the contract specifies exactly what you will deliver and when, then make sure you stick to these terms. A broken contract will not only have a financial impact on your business, it will also affect your reputation if the company chooses to share their experience with others. If you cannot meet the demands then let the owners or managers know at the time you start negotiations.
Abide By The Golden Rule
Doing business of any sort, you need to be ready to abide by the golden rule: treating others the way you’d like them to treat you. The people you’ll be dealing with are professionals like yourself, so it’s okay to be friendly, but maintain that professional decorum that you need to keep your business relationship on solid ground. Be willing to go above and beyond their demands, but also let them know where the boundaries lie both in added extras and service capabilities. Try not to mix business and pleasure too much, because it can come with unexpected repercussions.
Be Willing to Fix Mistakes Immediately
One tell-tale sign of good customer service is how quickly and efficiently you handle issues that come up, even if it’s not your mistake. Companies rely on quick responses so that the issues don’t, in turn, affect their customers. If you’re slow to respond or unwilling to help out, you will end up hurting your reputation.
At the same time, it’s important to protect your company as well. Be very clear at the time of purchase what your terms and conditions are should something go wrong. It’s a good idea to include a time frame as well, for example, 30 or 60 days after purchase, installation or delivery of service and/or products. Be sure to explain this upfront so there are no surprises. You can even offer an extended warranty on specific products to give your clients peace of mind.