Are B2C relationships different to B2B? It’s all about making the sale right, but how do you implement long-term strategies?
Being a supplier or wholesaler brings with it varying levels of strategies and interactions that need to be implemented to drive strong repeat business.
B2B relationships require longer periods of time with potentially stretched lead times that your B2C buddies aren’t familiar with.
There are many different tips to help you, we’re listing just three below to get you re-aligned and thinking more about maximizing the value out of your existing client base.
Always be pushing long-term relationships
More often than not, one or two wholesale customers can take up the lion share of your profits and losing one of them can impact your turnover dramatically.
It’s always important to nurture your larger customers however, you will need to stay on top of your smaller customers to prevent increased attrition rates from competitors. These smaller customers may not be the bulk of your turnover but losses in this area can sneak up behind you without you knowing there is problem (kind of like going bald!).
One of the most powerful techniques for securing longer term relationships is by gathering references from existing customers that will help you close the initial deal.
It’s very important not to focus your references just on your product, focus your efforts on feedback around how you do business, your culture, processes etc. Having the best product isn’t enough, especially if you're susceptible to competition.
B2B customers like dealing with suppliers that have strong robust processes from order placement right through to fulfillment, delivery, credit terms and product returns. Using cloud-based technology for inventory management and online ordering demonstrates to customers that paperwork will be reduced and time spend ordering will be streamlined.
[inlinetweet prefix="" tweeter="" suffix="@getwaddle"]Utilizing financing cloud-based add-ons like Waddle allows you to drawdown funds against invoices[/inlinetweet] as soon as they’re raised giving you the ability to offer extended credit terms to buyers.
You can take on more customers, drive larger purchases and remove any cash flow gaps from the credit terms offered. Instead of demanding cash on delivery you can now take on new customers and retain larger ones without compromising your own cash flow.
Drive multiple, repeat purchases
We started heading down this path above however, it’s important to understand that repeat purchases are the lifeblood of a wholesaler. Not only does it cut down administration from selling to new customers it also reduces a huge marketing expense that comes from new customer acquisition.
As mentioned above one method to drive repeat, potentially incrementally larger purchases is by offering favourable credit terms.
Another simple method executed by large retail chains are marketing discounts or volume purchase discounts. It’s not good enough to just simple offer it or bury it on the bottom of an invoice. You need to actively market these incentives, get on the phone, send out emails, newsletter. Anything that will remind your customers to buy more volume, more often.
Reprogram yourself to think long-term contact
It’s generally understood that B2C interactions happen at the point of sale or when an item is returned/exchanged, B2B customer questions are almost always more in-depth, sometimes research driven and can hold a number of complexities depending on the product you’re supplying.
You should take the time to implement pre-sales marketing processes and develop objection handling techniques. The most common objection surrounds pricing, so start there and work your way out, putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes.
Got any experience developing B2B relationships? Let us know by commenting below :)
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