It happens all the time.
I’m on a call with a customer. We’re spending all of our time talking about something that I feel is unimportant. By the end of the call, we never get to the substantive work required to impact results that lead to ROI.
I’ve always struggled with building the patience to take the time to explain to people what seems obvious to me.
However, I’ve also learned over time how important it is to do just that for building strong long-term B2B relationships.
Everyone is Unique. Don’t Fight It – Roll with It to Build B2B Relationships
Everyone has different priorities and communication styles. If you don’t acknowledge and respect that, along with different personal styles, you will never establish a foundation for long-lasting partnerships built on trust and mutual respect.
In today’s landscape with constant changes and increasing competition as well as smart and agile companies vying for their piece of the pie, acting quickly and focusing on what’s most important is critical for building B2B relationships in your company and outside.
Focus on What’s Best for the Company’s Health
All employees must focus their time and energy on the actions that will yield the best results for the business as quickly as possible.
It’s crucial for each employee to realize the unique challenges of their CEOs and Executive Leadership. It’s up to you to get your company to grow and profit in the shortest amount of time possible.
It doesn’t matter if you are in in a startup company or a big enterprise that’s been around since the beginning of time.
During every meeting, in each project, while completing each task, sending each email – you should always evaluate the situation based on the value that it can bring to the overall health of the company.
The most valuable employees will remind their colleagues of the importance of doing the same as they build B2B relationships.
Contract negotiations, for example, is one of the most critical areas for all key stakeholders to come together as early as possible. They need to understand each other’s perspectives and concerns immediately so they can agree on resolutions efficiently and put plans into action.
Sometimes, a week’s delay in reaching an agreement on a deal can cost a company hundreds to millions of dollars. With these B2B relationships, literally millions of dollars are at stake.
Everyone involved in those negotiations must understand the business impact for a delay.
Stop Thinking of Your Work as a Means to an End
It’s no longer about “how many hours” did you work today. Instead, it’s more about “what have you accomplished that will result in a good business outcome and positive growth?”
Ironically, the work you must do to justify the time you spent growing the business is exactly the work keeping you from growing it even more. Nevertheless, this work is still critical to your long-term success as you forge B2B relationships
Never assume that people “know what you’re doing.” After all, they are busy “doing their own thing” in their own world, too.
Sorting out attribution challenges between sales and marketing technology solutions like MAP (marketing automation platform) and CRM (customer relationship management) tools as well as the time you spend creating reports and presentations are necessary to securing sponsorship from people you are dependent on for success.
While you may reach a solution faster alone, you will get farther and grow higher as a team.
That’s what it’s all about.
Executive understanding and sponsorship are vital to securing the resources you and your business require to succeed. It’s always a challenge to strike a balance between doing the work and telling the right people about the work you’re doing.
5 Examples to Build Solid B2B Relationships and Grow Your Team
I’ve always felt like the best ways to learn and grow B2B relationships from articles like this is to read and absorb specific examples.
Here are a few practical examples based on my experiences during the last six months leading the Hushly Customer Success team.
1. Put the Argument on Hold and Meet Halfway
Don’t argue over terms of an agreement negotiated before your time. Focus on what you can do NOW to “meet in the middle” by the time it comes time to re-evaluate that partnership.
2. Table the Meeting Until You Have the Resources and People You Need
Don’t spend an hour talking about things you can’t fix because you don’t have the right people in the room.
Wrap the meeting early and figure out how to get the people you need in the next meeting.
Identify the people on both sides who will be responsible for bringing those people together as quickly as possible.
3. Get Specific and Realistic with Goals
Rather than spending time hammering on about “what people are doing,” get a clear and specific agenda you’ve defined in advance. Decide what you’ll accomplish by the end of that meeting.
4. Don’t Waste Time Debating. Put the Numbers Together
Don’t spend time debating a particular point based on what people think. Instead, agree on a test plan and the metrics which will prove the point either way then put it into action.
5. Sleep on It and Come Back with Fresh Thoughts
Instead of spending time getting increasingly more upset because you don’t believe your “point of view” is being heard or understood, agree to end the conversation and write out points of view. The following day, come back together for a calm, clear, friendly conversation.
We’re Only Human, After All
At the end of the day, we are human beings.
It’s good to be passionate about our points of view. We are all different – not wrong – simply different. The best possible outcomes will only happen when we can simply agree on common priorities and discover the best way to get there together as quickly as possible.