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How Are You Going to Become a Trusted Business Partner?

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Executive Summary.
  1. What is meant by ‘Trusted Business Partner’
  2. How to focus on the correct clients or potential clients

Last month I introduced this model to outline the steps in moving up the value chain as a vendor.


But what do these steps in the value chain actually mean? What are the drivers? What are your clients’ expecting at each step? The next model outlines these.


But don’t jump to speedy conclusions in saying for example, that I’ll never become a business partner or worse I can’t make money by being a commodity vendor. The answer to both is jein (a delightful German word meaning, both yes and no). Here’s why.

My experience indicates that most organisations treat all their clients equally. Great in theory, but not in practice. Reason being, that not all clients are created equal. Some generate more revenue and or profit than others. Unfortunately however, most organisations haven’t done the basic homework of segmenting their clients. The model below is an example of one way of doing so. Each of the descriptions may be a guideline in addition to revenue and profit figures on how to implement a simple segmentation matrix.


This is critical, as once you have identified who your partners or most valuable clients are, probably a small number, you then know whom to focus in on to try to establish a Business Partner relationship with. Key is that you have the discussion with those clients identified, as it will take a collaborative interaction between both companies to make the process succeed for each other.

Andrew Clare is Managing Partner of reLiance a business to business relationship marketing practice. I focus on improving client profitability through developing, implementing and measuring sustainable, collaborative business to business relationships.

Cell: +27 83 326 2451, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Web: www.rassa.co.za, LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/andrewclare


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