To function normally, a company must be surrounded by many partners: employees, customers, suppliers, creditors, shareholders and all other types of partners. For the proper functioning of the firm, a relationship of trust should be maintained with each of them. In this article, we will focus on the various possible ways to strengthen the links with customers, suppliers and partners in the literal sense.
HOW TO STRENGTHEN TIES WITH SUPPLIERS?
It is more than necessary to have a good relationship with suppliers to ensure business continuity. This equates to a smooth, efficient and transparent relationship. However, it would be wiser to avoid short-term relationships that could be detrimental to the company. So, at the beginning, select your suppliers carefully. The terms of collaboration must be advantageous for both you and them. To filter the applications, draw up a table with the selection criteria: turnover, size of company, experience, etc.
In the case of a supplier who is indispensable for the smooth running of your business, establish a special relationship with him and negotiate now, so that he does not let you down at the wrong time. For others, prefer a collaboration in which everyone wins. That way, you should find common ground! But how do you build supplier loyalty without impacting the financial results? That’s your job! Don’t hesitate to organize meetings to find solutions together that will bring real benefits for everyone. Then, plan regular meetings to judge the evolution of the collaboration and find new conditions if the previous clauses no longer suit either party.
In addition, agreement should also be reached on one or more points and effective solutions should be put in place in the event of incidents and disagreements during the partnership. These unforeseen events do not necessarily have to be dramatic for your company. Always look on the bright side and try to find a compromise.
HOW TO STRENGTHEN CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS?
With competition becoming increasingly tough, it is very important to find the right ways to strengthen the relationships you have with your customers. The objective? Making sure they don’t go elsewhere. For starters, establish good habits that they might enjoy. For example, have a short but effective meeting every month, or check in from time to time. It’s a small gesture that can make a big difference and build consumer loyalty. Why should you do this? Because they will feel privileged and will have the impression that you care about them. Watch out! If you make commitments and promise a thousand and one wonders, you’ll have to stick to them.
To strengthen your relationship with your customers, consider giving them gifts. Business gifts that are useful in the professional environment are certainly the best gifts to give your clients so that they will remember you for a long time. But which product to choose? They can be diaries, USB keys, high-tech gadgets, etc. Select according to your activity and that of your customers. Moreover, this solution will also give you good visibility. The advertising object is a very effective mobile promotional tool for boosting a company’s notoriety. In any case, setting aside a small amount to seduce and retain consumers is a profitable investment in the medium and long term!
Also strengthen the research and development department in order to develop or find innovative products, capable of meeting new customer needs. This is a fundamental asset for every company. It will allow you to be one step ahead of your competitors, or at least to be on the same footing as them.
Here’s another solution to build customer loyalty: offer them promotions! However, if you can’t reduce the cost of your products or services right now, consider reviewing your purchasing process. In order to optimize the charges so that your customers can benefit from the best prices, you will need more specific purchasing advice. Seek professional help if necessary.
HOW TO STRENGTHEN LINKS WITH PARTNERS?
To develop one’s activity, making partnerships is a very effective technique. But why? Instead of paying to increase traffic, boost visibility, etc., all you have to do is sign an exchange contract. However, in order to succeed, both companies would have to benefit from this partnership. Everyone must indeed find an interest in a partnership. Experience has shown that unbalanced partnerships only work in the short term. Therefore, for a long-term partnership, make a win-win offer.
In order to avoid misunderstandings, from the outset, the objectives of the partnership should be set and what your partner really wants. Next, make an inventory of the offers you can make to your partners. Classify them by category, from the simplest to the most complex. To make sure you don’t make a mistake, put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Furthermore, it is very important to animate the partnership. And this is the biggest mistake companies make. Most refuse to budget and set aside time to honour their commitments. This is essential to enhance the value of the partnership. Periodic follow-up is also necessary to be informed of everything that is happening and to closely monitor the results of the partnership. This step makes it possible to identify in time the corrective actions to be put in place.
Moreover, a gift is always a pleasure, whatever its value. To build stronger relationships, from time to time, offer gifts to your partners, or organize friendly lunches.
DOES BUILDING STRONGER RELATIONSHIPS WITH PARTNERS REQUIRE A BUDGET?
Not necessarily! Actions do not always require financial means. However, for the partnership to succeed, a little money and especially time should be invested.
Example: In exchange for your products, your logos will be displayed on the site and the customer’s various points of sale. Your products are not free, are they? But this collaboration can quickly boost your sales! Moreover, you will get more visibility both online and in store. The customer will not have to pay a part of his stock. Everyone is therefore a winner!
GOOD TO KNOW!
Everything that was decided during the meeting with your partner must be done in writing in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. To do so, send a detailed written document containing the obligations of both partners to clarify the duties of each. And the document must be traceable. This is the strict minimum before starting the partnership. At the same time, sign commitments. If possible, also ask your partner to sign an exclusivity agreement.
For a partnership to be successful, it is best to hold physical meetings to ensure you get off to a good start. E-mail exchanges and phone calls can block certain actions.
Finally, it should be noted that in the case of an exchange of services or products, the services must be included in your VAT return.