A variety of aspects affecting dealings in B2B

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When the customer you are serving is another BUSINESS then it changes the perspective of business wholly. This is because as an owner of business concern you never face the ultimate consumer directly. The consumer buys your product through various retail and wholesale mediums and only a bunch of people provide you a written feedback. The growing sales are itself a feedback reflecting the liking of people towards your product. But when the customer is a producer for whom the product you are delivering is a foundation for his new product then you face them directly. And here is where quality and consistency cannot be compromised. There are three aspects of carrying out this business to business dealing of products and services. Take a look!

  1. MARKETING: Marketing is the soul and breathes of every business. It is the medium through which the product reaches to the masses. Therefore it is necessary to choose such mode of marketing which have access to million of people. The finished product of one organization can serve as a raw material for another. So it is not necessary that marketing is done only for the ultimate consumer. Marketing is to be done for the producer as well. For instance wheat flour is the product used by ultimate consumer as well as it is being used by cookies manufacturing concerns. So one product which is a raw material for another and is able to be processed further should be marketed properly. Choosing social media for marketing is a wonderful option. You not only get bulk orders on this inexpensive and friendly mode but also interact directly to finalize the deal. It provides you feedback and makes you aware about the expectation and needs of the consumer.
  1. DELEGATION: The management scientist F.W. Taylor has also pressurized the need of specialization in the organization. He believes that no single person can be talented to do all the tasks solely. It is necessary to delegate the works to the specialists who are masters in their field so as to increase efficiency in the work. This means that delegation is the focal point on which every business owner should ponder, whether you own a brick and mortar store such as a pawn shop, or if you happen to own a local service such as a tow truck. Delegation is not only within but also outside the organization. There are many factors which are external to the business and yet have a potential to impact significantly. Outsourcing the sideline business areas such as housekeeping for hotel industry, personnel department for an engineering firm and so on can help in gaining edge over the core activities. This means that delegation plays a pivotal role towards efficiency of business and is also termed as business to business dealing as the outsourcing service providers are also the operators of large chains all over the world.
  1. SUBORDINATION OF PERSONAL INTEREST: the business is there to serve the society and its employees. It should flourish keeping in mind the common objective of organization. Therefore while dealing with other businesses it is required to keep your personal interests of achieving high profit irrespective of customer satisfaction should not override the organizational objectives of delivering quality and durability.

Picking the critical functions that are core to your business

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The business environment is dynamic and complex. There are a number of activities that a business has to perform. Apart from increasing the turnover, the business owners has plethora of activities to manage. There are production, inventory, accounts, human resource, taxation, insurance and various other departments which are to be managed. All departments together, act as an engine of business; which drives the train of organization. The business players have a lot of dealing with other business owners. The other businesses can help you in taking your organization to the peak. Enlightening these issues here are some of the tips favoring the existence of business to business relations.

  1. OUTSOURCING: In the past all these activities were required to be performed in house. This was because there was no external assistance available. But as the environment has become dynamic, every business needs to perform to sustain in the market. The competition is intense and therefore self sufficient is not a lucrative option now days. The time has come when the clients require specialization. It is well believed that only cardiologist have solution to the heart problems. Thus the minor activities or the activities which hold very less importance should be outsourced. For instance the Human resource work including the recruiting process and calculating and disbursing the remuneration, incentives and bonus should be outsourced to those organizations which are working solely for them. The audit work should be outsourced to auditors firms. Outsourcing is not a one day task. Business managers have to invite number of tenders to collect bids and quotes so as to have an overview of costs and time involved. But this helps the business to concentrate on their core activities and become specialists in the society.
  1. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH RAW MATERIAL SUPPLIERS: Each business interacts with different resources in the environment. Most importantly there are suppliers who have a regular interaction and dealing with your concern. If your raw material will be perfect only then your final product can have exponential quality. More than purchasing dealings every business should try to build relationships with the suppliers, whether it’s a partnership with someone across the globe or someone right down the road from you in Pasadena, TX. This is because this relationship may be limited to few units but it has a potential to build your goodwill in the corporate world. Thus it may be the supplier of any level, building strong relationships that go long way is the real key to success.
  1. SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT: There are many businesses that have their scale of operation up to the production of finished products. This product is sent to ultimate customers through collaboration with supply chains who have delivery channels in every remote corner of the world. At this stage also business to business transactions take place and it is very valuable stage as the products are made with ultimate goal of making them available to customers.

The truth is that no business can strive in isolation. Building a great network of businesses that provides service ultimately results in better products and services for the consumers apart from generating high profits.

Letter from one of our readers

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Here’s a nice note we just got from one of our partners. Thought we would share with the rest of our readers.

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Dear Zibtips, I am the owner of a small business in a little town in Texas called Pasadena. My company is called Custom Designs by Ryan, and I am proud to say we have been a loyal business partner of yours for several years. Due to some recent issues we had with our customers, the head of sales for our company was looking for some ways to plan for our future growth a bit more holistically than we’ve done in the past. He came across your site and started reading some advice and was very pleased with the amount of thought leadership you’ve put out there in the market for your readers to access. So without further ado, we’d like to extend a big thank you.

The issue wasn’t major, but this is a quick synopsis so you can understand where we’re coming from. We had a large piece of equipment overnighted to us, and we used FedEx cargo to get it to the destination. When our shipping manager got to the receiving dock, the trucker whose name was Jim Davidson asked for some paperwork to be signed as per usual. He then informed us that we should take a closer look at the bottom left section of the equipment because he’s been transporting similar items for many years, and although he did not claim to be an expert, he admitted that it didn’t look right. It was apparent how frustrated the receiving manager was because he physically changed his demeanor and made a bee line for the equipment pallet.

The truck driver asked for permission to come back after hours because he was staying in town for the evening anyhow after one more delivery. The receiving manager absolutely agreed, and it was time for everyone to get back to their day. To everyone’s surprise at my company, Jim came back around 6:15 pm with a box of tools, a few printed pieces of paper, and some work gloves. Our team knew right away that Jim was going to offer his time, expertise, and kind spirit to fix a major issue for the company. And the best part was he didn’t even have any responsibility when it came to the actual issue at hand.

Within 5 minutes, Jim had already read what he needed from the printed piece of paper he brought from the hotel, and on his knees he began to crank away at the damaged section of the equipment. Our team obviously came to his aide in order to expedite the process for this legendary truck driver that was now actively working in the middle of our shop. Approximately 20 minutes into the impromptu project, Jim looked up, checked his data sheet on the last test he ran, and gave us the nod that all was good to go.

We immediately launched into full applause and cracked open a few cold ones to relax after what had been a stressful day. Thank goodness for Jim’s truy selfless attitude, otherwise we would have been severely delayed in getting our project out the door to our customer. His trusted advisor relationship has continued to this day, and we see him on a regular basis for deliveries.

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This story is one we wanted to showcase because it focuses on the importance of relationships and value. There are a few others that we’ve recently received, so please keep your eyes peeled for more to come in the weeks and months ahead. We do have some interesting stories from a long time customer of ours in an area very close to the author of this article. His name is Bill, and he helps people install blinds in Bellaire when they are moving into new construction and/or renovated homes.

We will keep you posted as we hear more, and thanks as always to our readers here at zibtips.com. We look forward to hearing your success stories as well.

Tips and tricks for business-to-business sales professionals

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When we think of business, we think of a company that provides a service or product to a customer. However, when the customer you are servicing is another business it changes the dynamic considerably. In today’s business world, it all comes down to providing a quality product or service that will allow your customer to better service their customer.

In the past, a business had to do everything in house. They had to have accounting departments for billing, collections and taxes. They had to have a human resources department to insure employee benefits and rights were being utilized. They needed computer programmers and inventory managers and they needed to produce products.

We live in an age of technology, which has lightened the load. But, there is still much to do that require human hands and minds. Businesses that cater to other businesses are in high demand. By outsourcing responsibilities such as payroll, a business can save money that would otherwise be invested in management, time-keeping, payroll and payroll taxes. A payroll company collects the time from the employer and handles everything from deposits to W2’s and simply submits a bill at the end of the month. If the payroll company is less expensive than the cost of doing the job in-house, everyone is a winner.

The same principle applies to printing needs, advertising and travel arrangements. Not only does outsourcing these things save the business money, it also raises the quality and timeliness of the jobs at hand.

In the past businesses had to shut down their companies to take and record inventory. By using another company to take inventory, their business can run seamlessly while the job is being done.

Many companies use other businesses as suppliers — for example, the gentleman who runs a car brokerage service supplies companies like CarMax with used and fixed-up autos — his site is www.woodcarbuyer.com. Typically, the supplier would buy the product from another individual or business and then distribute it or sell it to the end user, which again could be an individual or a business. This benefits the business that made the product. They do not have the expense of having a shop and personnel to sell their product to the consumer. The distributing company makes a profit by marking up the item and that covers their expenses. This is another “everybody wins” situation.

By having a great network of businesses that service businesses, everyone makes a profit and the end result is better product and better service for the consumer.

Business managers would do well to sit down and figure out what services and needs they have that can be provided from outsourcing. They can collect bids and quotes as well as check the references of the business they are considering partnering with. They must consider cost, time and what this adds to their company. If they take all this into consideration, they need to consider how this affects the consumer. Some things do not even show up to the consumer. However, if a company is taking on a new supplier or IT service, they need to know if there will be any transition time. Finally, they need to know if the services provided come with customer support. Does the company come to your office to explain the process to your employees? At the end of the day, it all comes down to service and profit.

Don’t Push Sales, Build Relationships

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Sales techniques can be an overwhelming process to learn as well as time consuming, especially for new hires with no prior experience. However if your people are trained right and have the right access to tools, your business will grow exponentially. The golden rule applies “take care of your employees, and they will take care of your customers”.

A huge factor in training sales new hires is being able to teach them to solve problems. You don’t want them out their just trying to sell products. Yes, selling products creates more money in your pocket, however you will never broaden your sales area and will continue to sell to random new consumers. Stress the importance of “repeat customers” as this builds relationships and will bring in more clients by word of mouth.

Another reason why repeat customers should be a key point in training is because it helps your new hires to learn how to deal with problems that arise. For example, if one of your long term consumers is dissatisfied with a certain product they will be hesitant to keep buying products if they do not receive any help or guidance in using this. Learning how each company goes about this process is something that should be covered in a solid sales on-boarding program.

For example, if I am a loyal customer to ABC store and decide to buy a new lawn mower from their collection, but when I get home I can’t figure out how it works. This will automatically put a small dent in my relationship with the store. However, if the sales person in the store taught me all the tricks to the trade before purchasing and offered assistance after purchasing, it would create a positive impact on the store and sales person which would keep me inclined to keep coming back.

Any sales person needs to have exceptional communication skills; this does not mean being able to talk to strangers or pushing a product onto a passerby. A good sales person will not only be able to see a product but will be able to develop a relationship with their customer in the meantime. For example if your trying to sell a computer program to a customer and they give you ab obstacle such as “I don’t use the computer much, my wife take care of the technology”, don’t write them off and ask to speak with their wife, this will create a damper on a relationship. Instead offer to teach them how it works or play around with the software until their wife is free to engage.

Teach your new hires the old saying “your always seven people away from knowing everybody”. Meaning that one satisfied customer can potentially bring in seven more customers. However, one bad experience can lead to seven or more disgruntled customers. Think about it like this, if you have great service somewhere, you don’t go around bragging about it. But if you have a really bad experience somewhere you tell everyone and maybe even write a review online. Always try to fix a bad situation, don’t ignore it because it’s only “one customer”.

Sales success isn’t so far away

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Success can look very different to one person compared to another. To some, success owns a company worth billions and to others success can run a non-profit organization that helps with adult literacy. No matter what the dollar or intrinsic value of someone’s success, they achieved the based on the simple principles. Almost every person who has accomplished any sort of greatness in their lives says the same things. There are no secrets, just simple concepts that can help you get where you want to be.

  1. Find your passion. When you’re passionate about something, you will do it for free and it does not feel like work when you’re doing it. A business minded person will find a way to monetize that. You will stay up all night working on a project because the result will magnify something that you love to do. Imagine that feeling attached to a paycheck.
  2. Establish relationships with mentors that are experts in your field. College degrees and certifications are great foundations but nothing is more valuable than relationships and experience. Relationships can take you places that having knowledge cannot. A mentor has experience and wisdom. Heeding the advice from someone who has been in your shoes can save you from making costly mistakes and possibly cut time off of your journey to reaching your goals.
  3. Maintain consistency. Consistency is the key to success in anything in life. Be it a fitness routine or growing a business. Successful people are reliable and consistent, even when it’s not convenient. Set daily goals and execute them everyday. Continue to execute your goals, even when you feel like giving up.
  4. Delegate to others. As a business owner, it’s likely that you started you’re in business because you are passionate about the products or services that you have to offer. That does not make you an expert at running a business. Hire someone you trust to handle the mundane tasks of marketing, branding, bookkeeping, payroll, taxes, employee relations and things of that nature. Doing this will take a lot of stress off of your shoulders and allow you to focus on making the product or service great.
  5. Have a winning mindset. Visualize what success looks like to you and believe that you will make that vision become a reality. When you feel that your efforts are not getting the results you anticipated, remember that building the Roman empire took thousands of years, not one day. It will take time to build your empire. Do not give up. Think of the difficult times as training camp for Olympic athletes, you are training for your victory. See it through. If you can dream it, you can make it a reality.

Find a way to monetize your passion. Listen to a mentors advice. Delegate tasks that need expertise in areas other than your own. Your mindset can make or break you. Persevere and see your dreams become a reality.