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We have reached December and it is now officially acceptable to mention Christmas. This is a time when many B2B businesses unofficially slow down or switch off. Without doubt, Christmas provides a positive focus for many so I welcome this time of year. However, embracing Christmas and all that entails does not mean that you should abandon your new business development activities.
B2B business is dependent on relationships and Christmas-time is a great opportunity for you to strengthen the relationships that you have with clients and partners. Below I have listed a few ways in which you can build even stronger relationships.
Drive ROI From Christmas Events
Face to Face Meetings
At this time of year, you should plan more face to face meetings with your clients rather than emails and phone calls. Depending on your company’s approach, their may be opportunity for you to invite clients and partners to a company party or official get together. The advantage of events like these is that it creates opportunities for you and your colleagues to speak informally with your clients in a more relaxed setting. In my own experience, I have been able to be briefed on many new projects because of conversations at events. Please ensure that your team are prepared to spot opportunities and remind them that in a sense they are always on duty.
Don’t Lose That Work Ethic
If your company prides itself on the customer service that you give to your clients, please do not let this slip because it is Christmas. This is such a straightforward point but it affects so many companies. If your promise is to pick up all calls within 4 rings or answer email queries within 6 hours, please stick to that. The fact that staff are at a Christmas lunch should not prevent you from upholding the standards you have set for yourself. Potential and existing clients and partners are watching and will view more favourably those companies that maintain high levels of professionalism and responsiveness.
Proactive Reports & Analysis
The clients that you have the best relationships with will perceive you to be business partners rather than just a supplier. As a consequence, they will appreciate any proactive reports or analysis that you can provide for them based on your area of expertise. To be clear, this is over and above the standard reporting that you supply to them as part of your working relationship. Christmas time is a great time to give your clients or partners reports of analysis of this nature. It’s a great way to remind them of your value beyond the projects that you are executing for them.
If you implement the three steps above, together with the content-led approach that we champion at Marketing Fundamentals Ltd, you should see an increase in the amount of new business opportunities coming your way. Just one or two new opportunities could deliver a positive ROI; this would make Christmas time event expenditure worthwhile for its business benefits as well as the positive impact it has on staff morale. Yes, Christmas is a time for celebration and fun but with a little application it can also be time when you can increase the business opportunities and projects for your company.
Do you have specific Christmas events that you can use for business development? Let me know in the comments section below.
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This is blog post number 488.