These are uncertain times. It’s probably the last thing on any business’s agenda to forge new business partnerships right now.
But the truth is that creating new business to business (B2B) partnerships during an economic slowdown could well save you time and money to weather the storm.
With employees and partners moving to remote work, there are challenges coming at us constantly. The landscape continues to shift. And the economic outlook right now is less than bright.
We’re on shaky ground. But that’s not as powerful a deterrent to businesses who know how to realign and re-vision to survive. These businesses have learned that the best defense against catastrophic events like the pandemic is B2B unity of purpose. Strong alliances along the chain are at the root of a resilient presence during an economic slowdown.
Let’s talk about some of the advantages of seeking out strategic B2B partnerships during the COVID-19 crisis.
In crisis is opportunity. And where there is opportunity, there will be innovation as a reward that gives back for years to come.
Just one example is the US banking system. Before the 911 terror attacks, federal banking regulations demanded that checks be produced each day and flown out each night by carrier plane. That all came to a screeching halt on September 11, 2001.
An alternative was found in the electronic Check 21 system. In response to a catastrophic event, innovation stood in the gap, filling it with something better. No carrier planes, no physical checks and instantaneous transmission.
This innovation has set an enduring standard.
And innovation created in partnership is powerful. With smart communication, you can know as much about your partners’ businesses as you do about your own.
And that’s the goal.
We’re all in this together
A strong theme running through media and messaging in the ongoing COVID-19 emergency is that “we’re all in this together”.
This is the thought to hold in mind, while contemplating ways to develop mutually beneficial business relationships to be more fiscally responsible in the current climate.
Renewing your connection with your clients is a key component of this strategy. Once that connection is renewed, enrich it in meaningful ways which include an exploration of what they’re doing to weather the storm. Where can your business benefit theirs and vice versa?
These intentionally pursued conversations have the power to sustain businesses in times like these. Central to that is the truth that two heads are better than one – as are parallel business resources.
Listen more. Talk less.
New relationships are great, but your existing relationships need to be nurtured intentionally in times like these.
One of the best ways to build mutually beneficial business partnerships is by listening more and talking less. And that relies on smart communication, as we’ve pointed out above.
Not listening enough is the aspect of communication most business leaders get wrong. When you listen, you’re able to pinpoint expectations. When your expectations align with those of your partners, everyone’s happy and trust is fortified.
Listening opens the door to finding synergies in collaboration, culture and common goals. Communicating strategically, openly and honestly is what gets you to the next level of your existing relationships.
Know this: 50 – 70% of strategic business partnerships don’t work out. Why?
One or both parties fail to perform to expectations. So, knowing what your partners need from you is key to the success of the relationship. That requires keen listening that honors the agreement you’ve made with each other and leverages it.
Listening is a communication strategy with the potential to bear abundant fruit.
If you’re seeking ways to build mutually beneficial business partnerships, then you’ll want to know about CenterPoint Group.
We’re the trusted procurement advisor that brings our members the power of numbers.
The power of numbers invests your small or medium-sized business with the kind of clout usually reserved for big players. With $850 million of indirect spend to leverage on your behalf, we open the door to coveted suppliers and superior cost savings.
With ten years of market and data experience behind us, we come to you as a partner that not only saves you money, but which optimizes your program by tracking market conditions. We add to that account management that sticks with you, and multi-year protection acquired through agreements that hold the line on cost and timely supply.
These are uncertain times. Be confident, with your partners at CenterPoint Group.
Contact us to find out how.