B2B Survival: Leads come and go, but business relationships endure

When the internet was just a toddler and people still depended on traditional media to acquire information, they were practically too easy to please. You could just present them with something educational that they haven’t heard before, and in no time they’d say “Wow, I learned so much from you,” and converting them to leads is just icing on the cake.

That hardly ever happens today, though.

Given the abundance of information available online, people are no longer wowed by trivia and know-it-all approaches to content. Their need has shifted to different things, such as customer experience, accessibility, and most importantly, building relationships.

This is more apparent in a Business-to-Business (B2B) setup where professionals hook up with people of their kind. If you’re running a company, you would want to work with people you like and trust, and that’s something you don’t just achieve by being a walking encyclopedia.

Relationship-focused marketing does not eradicate traditional marketing in any way – you could still pursue your usual tactics while being relational at the same time. It’s actually more of a philosophy that fuels the main core of how you execute your marketing practices. Shifting your focus away from making money and more into strengthening bonds can bear fruits that don’t go stale.

First, good relationships make your marketing operations easier by word-of-mouth publicity. Business people usually have no problem recommending you to their friends if you’ve really built a reliable reputation around your business name. It also makes expansion easier if you have plans to go outside your current territory.

Another benefit of building relationships is that it keeps your company afloat. Tenured business would attest that financial stability typically relies on “regulars”. Having a set of 5 companies who are always willing to work with you is better than dealing with 20 new transactions that won’t likely be extending their business.

Lastly, not only that building lasting relationships preserve the cash flow, but it also saves your company money. Experts estimate that it is 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep current ones. Businesses that consistently satisfy their clients need not to worry about high churn rates, and it even facilitates the entry of potential leads.

Commerce is a people-oriented field, and it should be no surprise that relationships are the bloodline that sustains it. It’s like love – nobody wants to be on “dating mode” forever; sooner or later you have to find the right commitment and settle down.