5 Things Your B2B Customers Want You to Know

Date: June 1, 2012 | Shawn Herbig | News | Comments Off on 5 Things Your B2B Customers Want You to Know

After hundreds of in-depth studies over several years around business to business relationships in all sizes of companies, IQS

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Research has extensive understanding about what constitutes successful B2B relationships, which ensures your business keeps its clients for a good long time. Here are the five things to keep in mind when evaluating and prioritizing your relationships with your business customers and vendors.

  1. Relationship is important. Although they don’t have to be friendships, per se, business and vendor relationships can and should be “friendly.” They want to know that you understand their needs, that you take a vested interest in them, and that they can count on you. They greatly value the thought that you’ll be there for them or when you recognize their voices when you talk on the phone.
  2. Your performance impacts their reputation. This is a big one. If a marketing manager asks you to design and print her company’s brochures for an important campaign, and they’re not done in time or they look awful, that will greatly impact his reputation with his customers, possibly making him look incompetent or unreliable. His reputation is damaged because of your performance. On the flip side, you can also make her shine, which is one of the goals of a good B2B relationship.
  3. Know what’s important to them. Details matter, and to know that their needs are first and foremost in your mind reduces stress and heightens confidence. Always making sure the details are covered, even as simple as making sure office furniture is delivered without scratches and that their floors are protected when you deliver speaks volumes to how valuable you think they are.
  4. They appreciate proactiveness. B2B customers want to be understood, and they want you to be proactive around that understanding. It’s not enough you just know who they are and what they do. When you know, for example, that an event is coming up and you can make suggestions to make it go more smoothly, even if it does not benefit you directly will make them more confident in your relationship. They want to know you’ve got their back.
  5. The B2B relationship should last a lifetime. This type of relationship tends to be based on loyalty. Because of this, you don’t want your customers to think in terms of getting a transaction completed, and you moving on to the next job, forgetting all about them. B2B relationships are longer term, more stable, and relationship-based and need to go both ways with flexibility and consideration.
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When Is It Alright to Do Your Own Market Research

Date: May 8, 2012 | Shawn Herbig | News | Comments Off on When Is It Alright to Do Your Own Market Research

When should companies do their own research, and when should they leave it to the pros?

This is a common question and fortunately, there is a pretty simple three-step litmus test that can answer this for you. Basically, you can do some simple market research yourself if you truly know what it is you need to know, if the information you’re trying to gather is marginally or unimportant, and if there’s very low risk if you get your decision wrong.

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Let’s say you’re considering opening a new branch office. You have three cities you’re considering in the region, and you need to pick the one that will bring in the most business. The expansion is going to cost the company $2,000,000, so you can’t afford to make the wrong choice.

There is certainly information about the different cities you are not aware of, and there’s quite a risk if you choose poorly — job loss, financial liability, and even a possible fatal blow to the company. This is definitely something you need the help of a professional research company to decide. The cost of the research and analysis will be substantially less than the cost if the project fails.

On the other hand, there are many internal decisions unique to your organization and office that could easily be decided by doing your own market research. For example, if you’re planning to remodel or add a break room, you don’t need to invest in professional research to determine whether you need two microwaves or three, if you need a bigger refrigerator, or what kind of chairs to use. This is the kind of thing that a brief employee survey or basic discussions could easily answer for you because the importance level is so low. If you make the wrong choice, there’s little to no consequence. If you needed three microwaves but only got two, then get another one later, or if you bought one too many, there’s $70 lost, which is minimal.

So very simply, if what you need to know will have a major impact on your business then you need to hire a research company that has the skills, experience, and expertise to perform major business research that can connect the dots between several different data points and help you get the insights you need to make the right decision.

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