5 Secrets to Successful B2B Marketing Relationships
By Kara Smith Brown
Relationships can sometimes feel like a job in itself, especially at work with vendors, customers, and colleagues.
B2B marketing relationships are no different. True vendor partners foster their relationships to reach prolonged success. As marketers, we know how to communicate, but we need to be sure we’re conscience about how we deal with our professional network. It’s unconventional - but we use the 5 love languages to understand a little about those around us.
Gary Chapman outlines the secret to lasting love in his book, The Five Love Languages. Yes, love is a strong word. We don’t usually use the word love in a business setting or love everyone we work with, but this concept is one we apply to our relationships so we can understand our clients and service them better.
1. Words of Affirmation
When you’re in regular communication with your clients, this should be easy. Whether it's on the phone, through email, or in person, give personal and genuine comments of appreciation.
Everyone likes receiving gifts, right? It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just let it show that it’s special for them. Our policy is to thank our client’s periodically throughout the year with trusting us with their marketing efforts, not just at the end of the year. Here’s a great podcast about gifting.
3. Acts of Service
This may be conflicting given that you perform services for your clients already. Take time to go above and beyond - show that you care to do more than the bare minimum.
4. Physical Touch
Don’t make it awkward. You don’t have to initiate the hugging policy here, but a great handshake or a pat on the back is what some people need.
5. Quality Time
Grab a coffee, talk about more than the work, and be present at all functions. It’s not just about time - it’s the quality of the relationship that you build through that face to face time. People work with people they like and trust. A little vulnerability can go a long way.
Strong communication helps all parties succeed, so nurture it, foster it, and show you care. We value the relationships we’ve built with our clients because it takes a team to help our clients build their bottom line. Don’t take it from us, take it from our clients.