Providing good products or services was once all B2B companies needed do to earn the respect of their local
business communities. Today, that’s no longer sufficient. In this era, companies are expected to engage in business-oriented outreach that enhances the business and economic climate in the communities where they operate. Tackling causes at the grassroots level can deliver a timely and substantive business payback.
B2B companies may strive to help “at risk” teen-agers gain skills they need to find jobs. They may pitch in to help revitalize and beautify their area’s central business district. They may partner with non-profit groups addressing environmental issues impacting the area’s desirability as a place to do business. Here are several ways to cultivate a rewarding relationship with your community that helps you gain business customers.
- Build mutually-beneficial relationships with the companies comprising your customer base. Sound out their leaders on local issues of concern to the business community, while sharing your sensitivity to community concerns.
- Design your own company program aimed at tackling community issues. It may involve volunteerism from your team, or a collaboration between your company and a not-for-profit partner. Its objective should be to boost the business climate for all companies, and also align with your company’s own business strategy.
- Make the initiative a central component of your company culture, one that’s part of business decisions. Reward employee participation and volunteerism. Create metrics to help gauge the program’s success and fine tune its ongoing progress.
Establishing and cultivating a rapport with your community from a business standpoint can result in a true “win-win.” It can build a stronger, more vibrant business climate for all companies in your community. At the same time, it can help your company gain the respect, trust and patronage of the very B2B customers and prospects it avidly targets.
What’s your company’s approach to business-oriented outreach in its community?
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