Social business collaboration is the critical component of your customer retention strategy.
I’m not talking about getting your customers and prospects to share or retweet your public relations and marketing messaging. Please don’t confuse the social business with social selling. There’s a big difference.
The social business is a communicative and collaborative business model. Your social business collaboration strategy leverages and balances internal knowledge and expertise with that of your prospects and customers.
How can your social business collaboration strategy propel you forward as the go-to company: the company everyone wants to continue to do business with?
That’s a recipe for creating a PULL customer retention strategy, isn’t it?
This strategy involves incorporating cloud computing, business analytics, security and mobile into your business development conversations.
Yes, I know. Your small to midsized manufacturing and service company doesn’t “do” these things. Yet your social business collaboration strategy hinges on your comfort level discussing these topics.
Why? Because your readiness to respond to global competition, including cybersecurity challenges, involves each of these areas.
Yikes!! All you thought you had to worry about was how your metal finishing company was going to respond to the next RFQ.
As the CEO of your small to midsized business, it’s no longer sufficient to be an expert in your manufacturing space. Social business collaboration means you, as the CEO or lead project engineer, can roll up your sleeves and collaborate with peers within your discipline as well as outside of your discipline.
You must be able to talk about all of the “stuff” that impacts your business as a whole, instead of limiting your conversation to your own stuff or the specs in the RFQ or RFP (requests for quote / requests for proposal).
Something interesting happens when you decide to color outside the lines of your own industry vertical. You become more interesting to speak with. You also become more engaged in what your customers are telling you.
Many small to midsize companies rely on a business ecosystem composed of other companies with complementary core capabilities. Together, like a set of Lego® blocks, you collaborate, partner, configure and reconfigure to meet the needs of your customers.
What are the common issues all of you face, together, as you focus on building sustainable businesses?
This month, start reading more about cloud computing, business analytics, security and mobile. What are the implications of each of these topics on your own company’s longevity in the marketplace?
Aha! I think you have an interesting and relevant topic to discuss with current customers and prospects.
This type of business development conversation has huge social business collaboration implications. The outcome? Enhanced customer perception of your value to them over the long haul.
Give it a try. Learn. Grow. Collaborate.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She was named one of the 2014 Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers by Top Sales World. Read about revenue-producing, collaborative team strategies in my book, Do YOU Mean Business.