When it comes to marketing your business, what’s more important – data-driven marketing efforts or strategic business relationships?
In this electronic age of information overload, we can end up relying on reports and research on which to base our decisions. With the time pressures on us, it can be all too easy to concentrate our efforts on our company and products’ ‘features and benefits’.
But then people like to stress the importance of relationships in our business world. It can be confusing. Could there be a better or alternative method that keeps you in control?
Our BizSmart core adviser and international exports Select Member Steve Parker of ICD, has spent many weeks every year working in the Gulf, the Far East and countries worldwide, where ‘The 4 Ts method’ and others are prevalent, even today.
In this webinar, Steve will provide clarity on what strategic business relationships are and how you develop them. He’ll cover what’s meant by the ‘4 Ts’ and explain how you can use them in your own business.
Plus he’ll talk about opening your mind to improving customer service levels and applying them to every customer and supplier contact point. And he’ll talk about how the BizSmart process is based on some of these sound principles.
Or read on for an introduction to this topic…
A sign of a good relationship is when all parties are comfortable in the silences. This is the same for business relationships too, and strategic relationships will survive even when neither party has an immediate order to place.
The relationship-building strategies you can use need not be applied to all of your business relationships at once. You may want to start with the 10-20% of your customers and business associates that contribute to 80-90% of your business turnover and profits.
Think about the type of business relationships you want, the level of commitment required by each party, and how close you want to get. Focusing on relationships is rarely a waste of time. Building strong relationships will mean not only repeat business, but often larger opportunities and referrals will undoubtedly follow.
Using the 4T’s can be helpful. These are – touch, test, tender and trust.
Here’s an example of how you might use “test”. You may think you’re in a strong, mutually beneficial business relationship with someone. But what if they embarrass you when you work together, or don’t do what they say they will when working with a trusted contact of yours? Maybe they have cancelled planned appointments or failed to return calls. You will have your own tests and measurements, but it’s worth deciding on them so that you know who you should invest time, money and emotion in, and who you shouldn’t.
BizSmart aims to help SME and micro-business owners scale their businesses and create value through sound practical business support. We aim to give you insight and clarity and fire up your determination to succeed. You can access blogs like this and more besides through our free SmartRoom service here.