More than two years after the Covid-19 pandemic first took the world by storm, many businesses are still traveling down the long and winding road to recovery. Whether they’re trying to recover lost funds, having trouble organizing remote work, or are dealing with different troubles altogether, recovery is proving to be a long and difficult task for many.
In such trying times, B2B businesses can strengthen relationships by lending a helping hand to good clients who are still struggling. Here, eight members of Business Journals Leadership Trust discuss various ways that B2B organizations can reach out to clients who are having a hard time recovering from the effects of the pandemic.
1. Share best practices of similar organizations.
Be open to discussions with the client as to their struggles, and offer best practices as seen in other, similar organizations. For example, we recently sent some clients to the Columbus State Manufacturing Extension Partnership. This has opened up funded grant opportunities to help them with business improvement activities. – Jason Comstock, Clarity Technology Solutions LLC
2. Look for issues they may have missed.
I always like to unravel the layers to see if I can spot a trend or a possible blind spot that our clients can’t see for themselves. I truly believe if you are focused on solving a client’s problem, you can always rebuild your business with that focus. – Cindy Lo, RED VELVET
3. Listen, learn and empathize.
True business partnerships are a two-way street, so listening and reacting to what you hear can help to build a long-lasting relationship, and that is the aim. It could simply be letting them know you are there, suggesting a complementary additional service or providing a tailored solution for a period. Working together, great things can be achieved. – Joanna Swash, Moneypenny
4. Offer temporary discounts.
Our IT business offers discounts and fee waivers to struggling businesses. Some clients have Covid discounts applied to their services. If your industry is directly impacted by the pandemic, ask your vendors for some relief; you will be pleasantly surprised by how many are willing to help. – Jared Knisley, Fizen Technology
5. Help them expand their network.
Relationships are the most valuable thing we all have for building and sustaining a business. If there is a B2B business that is struggling, have them ask past customers for testimonials or case studies to use for digital marketing. Introduce them to people in your network, encourage them to get plugged into the community and, most of all, share your positive energy. – Deena White Tearney, Pacific Point
6. Provide a forum for similar customers to connect.
One idea is to ensure the customer is part of a broader community. Facilitate introductions to your customers in similar industries so they can have group or one-on-one conversations and learn from each other. Many may have similar pain points and challenges. Providing a forum for customers to connect and share ideas can help provide practical business and emotional support. – Cindy Zhou, LogRhythm
7. Help them find opportunities to expand.
Suggest expanding into new markets or targeting a demographic that they may not have considered. When you have multiple clients in the same industry or similar industries, you learn what will get results. You can easily identify opportunities for them to expand to audiences that may not fit their exact ideal customer profile but will still be a good fit and help drive opportunities. – Scott Scully, Abstrakt Marketing Group
8. Connect them with someone you know who can help.
Maximize the use of your own professional network for your client’s benefit. If you are running a successful business, you understand the role that strong relationships play in your growth and longevity. Find out what issues your client is facing and see if someone in your network can provide support. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency