Good business is built on trust, integrity, commitment and a mutual understanding of respect whilst working towards a shared goal. Whether you are working in a B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer) industry, every commercial role requires a level of collaboration and communication to thrive.
Today, I am going to share a method that has worked a lot for me in the past and given me some fantastic business relationships.
1. Be honest and transparent
Things do not always go to plan but being clear and communicating effectively when there are mishaps ensures that you will be remembered more than someone who focuses on maintaining a ‘false’ ‘perfect’ image.
2. Do not agree to unachievable goals
We have all been there and promised the impossible. If your goals are unrealistic for the time period, country, budget or long-term project, be prepared to adjust them and do not agree to them in the first place. Germans have a great word for this “Eierlegende Wollmilchsau” which roughly translates to “egg-laying and milk-giving wool-pig”, clearly this is not possible so it is better to focus your time on things that are. In this case, setting a SMART business goal is key; when there are multiple opinions, a compromise can often bring even more rewards in the long-term than agreeing to a project that is just not feasible.
3. Demonstrate your added value
This seems like common sense but it is surprising how different perspectives can have entirely different opinions on the same thing. Make sure that in a B2b or B2c situation, you can have a real impact on the business. Whether in sales, strategy, marketing or service, it’s always good to plan for success and focus on outcomes.
4. Plan and set out an agenda from the beginning
Whether it’s obtaining a retainer fee for services in advance or ensuring that important meetings go ahead within the specified timeframes, setting and sticking to the milestones agreed at the beginning of the collaboration is the best way to guarantee success.
5. Communicate. Always .
Staying in touch is the key and holding each other accountable. You will learn the best way of working internally and externally and eventually a dream team will be born.
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