I sat with a prospective client at a coffee shop. We laughed about how sometimes putting a giant sign in front of your door isn’t always enough to draw in new customers. She owned a local Cuban restaurant down the street. She spent the last year struggling on her own. As a last ditch effort, she asked around her networking group what to do when you’re about to give in and close your doors. They referred her to me.
We discussed all the things a cursory glance told me about her business: confusing website, owner-focused marketing copy, poor online communication with dissatisfied customers, and an intermittent online presence. As I took notes, she tapped the table and asked me: “How do I get more lunch traffic into the restaurant?” I looked up at her and she quickly tacked on “you can add it to your consulting price and we can talk about it later.”
“We can talk about it now,” I said. We technically don’t charge for consulting services anyway. We’re writers, I explained to her, but based on the many small businesses we helped in marketing, we know what worked.
I told her about all of the stuff she should do that she couldn’t pay us for, from dropping off menus at nearby office complexes to creating a special lunch menu patrons could get and eat in less than 30 minutes. She took many notes before asking me why I didn’t charge her for this information. She looked genuinely surprised. Here’s why:
The Success of My Business Depends On Your Business’s Success
As a business who only works with other business, I need you to be my client. If all the businesses around me fail, I’ll have no clients at all. It’s in my own vested interest to help you find success.
Maybe you’ll still go out of business. Maybe you aren’t open-minded enough to allow in outside advice. Maybe you’ll take my ideas and not hire me. Maybe the zombie apocalypse starts tomorrow. With the law of averages, I should still help you. It will work out in my favor. It already has.
You’ll Remember Me
The sneaky thing about helping you so earnestly and candidly is that you’ll remember me for a long time. When you grow enough to afford our services, you’ll pick me because we’ve already made that connection. Do you want to work with someone only out for themselves? I didn’t think so.
Plus, we’ll have more of a connection than my competitors. You’ll refer me out at networking meetings (see how that works?) and to the other businesses you interact with. When we save your business or grow it substantially, you’ll send me Hanukah cookies and we’ll drink Manischewitz at your company’s next Christmas party.
There is Enough Business Out There
Insecure business owners never admit this, but there is enough business out there for us all to be successful. My company can successfully manage only 40 new website launches a year and that’s the truth. Everything else is referred out to tested and proven competitors I have established relationships with, who profit from our relationship.
We work for and help out our competitors all of the time. While we don’t give them all our secrets and most of them don’t write as well as we do, we wish them well and refer them work that’s more appropriate for them. With so much hate in our world already, I’m not going to spend one minute wishing you harm and not opting to help you.
Call it naive, call me a dreamer, call me what you will…but you know what? It’s been working as a business practice and my clients are extremely happy. What more can a girl ask for?
Originally published on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-b2b-businesses-want-your-business-succeed-melanie-green?trk=prof-post