The Good, Bad and Ugly of your B2B Family

B2B family

Most of us share one common priority over the holiday season: time with family. This means different traditions, celebrations, and activities — depending on your background — but most of us will see grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, and parents in varying capacities. Some of you may have cringed at the thought of having to spend another minute with that “crazy uncle” or your cousin’s “special friend.” News flash: you do not have much of a choice, so you better make the most of it. Thinking back, how has your family changed over the years?

In my life, I have seen six cousins and a sister enter the world. I have watched an aunt get married, as well as an uncle. I have become closer with certain family members, while growing further apart from others. What does this mean? It means that nearly every Thanksgiving or Christmas there is a new face around the dinner table or tree. Some of these people have been loved ones since the day I was born, but others are first-time introductions. The fact of the matter is, all are family now (whether I like it or not).

Adding new individuals to a family is similar to adding clients to a business. It all starts with a core of happy, loving, satisfied family members (customers). When the younger family members come of age and are comfortable with who they are (successfully implemented), they may just go out into the world and select another person to start a family with (write a review on G2 Crowd). Undoubtedly these people will return to their original families (client success and sales), thus introducing new members to be welcomed and loved (new paying customers). Sound a bit similar to referral or client marketing? It should, but it all starts with growing relationships that will LAST. Did you know that customers are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend (Nielsen)?

Take a step back and think about your current sales and marketing tactics. Are you spending all of your time inviting “strangers” to your family Thanksgiving? Or, are you focusing your time on the relationships that will produce the most quality dinner guests who may just bring a side dish too? After all, the lifetime value of a new referral customer is 16% higher than a non-referral customer (Wharton School of Business). So even though that “crazy uncle” client that we all have can be rude and obnoxious at times, there is a good chance that he may be able to bring others to your proverbial dinner table if you take the time to engage with him in an appropriate way!

The goal of every business should be to increase customer engagement at every stage of the brand journey. This is accomplished differently at each unique stage, but the end goal remains the same: move as many contacts as possible through the Customer Lifecycle Marketing journey to the point at which they are “Brand Advocates.”

Next time you are planning a campaign as a marketer or about to pick up an angry client phone call as a client success manager, remember that happy clients are the first step to growing your B2B family (business).