For the vast majority of successful businesses, an element of their work will come from business-to-business (B2B) contracts. Not only do these contracts tend to be the most lucrative, but they are also the lifeblood that can sustain your business even through tough economic times when consumers are simply tightening their belts.
Negotiating the course of any B2B relationship can be difficult, especially if you are mutually dependent on one another. While there’s plenty of information out there about what you should do to get this tricky interaction right, sometimes it’s also worth focusing on the things you absolutely should not do. If you want to retain solid B2B relationships for the health of your business, then you’re going to need to ensure you avoid the following.
Whenever you engage with another business, write it down – or type it, whatever is your preferred method of storing business information. You have to be able to track conversations, conclusions, and agreements. If you don’t, then you’re going to appear sloppy and not dedicated to the task at hand – and would you want to be involved with a company who project that image?
There’s no doubt that getting your Salesforce invoice management into action is absolutely essential when it comes to managing business-to-business relationships. Companies not only want to be invoiced on time, but you also need to know when they might be due an order so that you can plan ahead. Getting both sides of the invoicing process correct, therefore, is imperative. While there’s plenty of software out there, always opt for a CRM that manages invoices in a simple, understandable way and is used by plenty of companies – this helps to avoid any confusion.
When dealing in a B2B capacity, you will often find yourself working with one specific person at a company – and if you don’t get on, then it can be a nightmare. This person – a buyer, or just a client liaison – might be being instructed to work with you, but every time you engage with one another, you never seem to get anything done. If you let this relationship fester then it’s going to impact your entire relationship with the company, so always be the politest, nicest, most helpful version of yourself – and save your venting for when you’re not speaking directly to them.
If you tell another business that you’re going to be able to do something, or provide something, by a certain deadline then you need to do it. Think about how you would feel if the situations were reversed: you’re relying on another company for an aspect of your business, and then they let you down. Once, maybe you can handle it, but if the problem becomes chronic you would walk away. It’s therefore essential you only make promises in B2B relationships when you can deliver them.
Nurturing good B2B relationships is essential for getting the modern business world right. By knowing what you should avoid, you can be sure of many successful relationships in the future.