How Important is Trust in B2B Business?

Posted by: Ashley Choate
Competition is a factor in every market, but B2B (Business-to-Business) marketers face a different array of challenges from B2C (Business-to-Customer) marketers. True, the need to differentiate and appeal to the interests of the client is still present, but there is one key difference: trust.

Trust is vital in B2B interactions because business relationships between companies operate very differently from relationships between businesses and general consumers. First, B2B relationships are often more long-term, designed to meet an ongoing need that is important to the success of the business. Second, business owners often rely heavily on the service or products provided in order for their own business to function.

These business relationships should not be taken lightly, as contracts often come into play and unwary business owners may end up losing money if the service or terms are not in their favor.

For B2B marketers, establishing trust and a generally positive reputation is essential. Business owners are more cautious than ever, particularly since the threat of data breaches and contract scams is common knowledge.

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According to one source, B2B marketers can expect to deal with 5 or more decision-makers, each from different roles within the company, when courting a new business. For that reason, B2B companies must not only do good, trustworthy business, but must also work hard to be as open and transparent as possible in order to build a real sense of trust when establishing business relationships.

Below are some actions B2B marketers can take to establish a trustworthy reputation within their industry. This information is also vital for business owners and other decision-makers, who need to be aware of the hallmarks of a B2B company that is working in the best interests of its clients.

Focus on relationships.

With B2B, every business relationship is vital. Established customers should receive regular contact and updates on products or services, or simply a call to keep the relationship strong. A few minutes of time can build a level of mutual respect, gratitude, and commitment that will not only keep business relationships strong, but will also ensure that the satisfaction customers feel with the company will be heard clearly in mutual circles. Word-of-mouth is no small thing, particularly in B2B relationships. A few kind words from a respected fellow business owner has more weight than a thousand positive online reviews.

Be consistent.

The fact is that trust is based on truth, honesty, and dependability. Business owners need to know that the products or services they rely on will be delivered consistently every time. Or, they need to know that they can depend on the company to contact them if a problem arises—before the problem becomes a disaster. Delivering consistent products or services is second only to consistent contact and information. Out of sight, out of mind is a true adage, and good B2B marketers do not want to fall out of mind if they’re hoping to establish strong business relationships.

Help others connect.

Business owners know better than most that a good connection can mean the difference between a good year and a bad one. B2B marketers and companies are in a unique position to be able to see how several different companies work and potentially facilitate relationships between those organizations, when needed. This simple act is a sign that the company truly has the best interests of its clients at heart, which is honestly good for both the business owner and the B2B company. After all, a successful company means a need for more products and services from their B2B supplier. What’s good for one is good for both, and a supportive business relationship from the B2B company only makes sense in the long run. It’s just good business sense.

More than most, B2B companies need to establish a good reputation and a sense of trust in the right circles to find success. Getting started is sometimes challenging, because many organizations have already built working business relationships with established companies, but the opportunities are there.

With the right focus—a dedication to client success and a commitment to building strong working relationships—word will spread, and business owners and decision-makers will always be drawn to an organization they can trust to do consistent, reliable business. Their own success depends on it.