ALLTER - A culture for successful B2B relationships
Five years after the birth of I-Next, our little digital technology company, we had a bit of an epiphany. We realised that our real strength lay in... well, you guessed it, digital technology! So, we decided to switch gears and focus on helping other, more creative and consumer-focused businesses build their own digital solutions (yes, we're talking about websites back in those days). And believe it or not, we're still working with some of the agencies we started out with over 20 years ago. Talk about long-term commitment!
Now, you might be wondering, how did we manage to build such enduring relationships? Well, to be honest, we didn't have a grand master plan or a secret formula up our sleeves. We simply treated our B2B customers as genuine partners and embraced what we like to call the "ALLTER" culture. It's not a fancy acronym or anything, just six principles that guided us on this crazy journey:
- Assist: In a B2B relationship, success is a team effort. So, we were always ready to lend a helping hand to our customers in achieving their goals. We'd hop on calls, attend meetings, and even lend our creative genius to writing parts of proposals. We were like the sidekicks of the digital world!
- Listen: As they say, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. We made it our mission to listen attentively to our customers and their customers. Because when you open your ears, you uncover hidden opportunities and gain insights that can shape the course of your business. Plus, it's a great excuse to avoid talking too much.
- Learn: We never stopped learning, whether it was from the people we worked with or the projects we took on. We were always on the lookout for fresh solutions to problems and never settled for mediocrity. We were like perpetual students, minus the cafeteria food.
- Tell the Truth: We believe in transparency and honesty, even if it means admitting that we couldn't do something or pointing out potential mistakes. People respected us for our brutal honesty because they knew we had their best interests at heart. Plus, it's easier to remember the truth than to keep track of a web of lies.
- Educate: You know that saying about giving a person a fish versus teaching them how to fish? Well, we firmly believed in the latter. We didn't just provide solutions; we took the time to train our customers. If we had some nifty technology that could help them succeed, we'd share our knowledge freely. We were like digital professors, spreading wisdom in ones and zeros.
- Risk it: Life is all about taking risks, and the same goes for business. We were always willing to take a leap of faith alongside our customers. Whether it was adjusting invoice dates to ease their cash flow or developing a proof of concept for a wild and speculative opportunity, we embraced risk. Sure, not all risks paid off, but the bond it created with our customers was priceless. We were like adrenaline junkies of the corporate world!
In these uncertain times, it's comforting to know that our B2B relationships go beyond mere agreements and discounts. The ALLTER culture has become the foundation of our success—a slow and steady route to building a sustainable business. It may not lead to overnight triumph or immediate riches, but trust us, it's been one heck of an enjoyable ride.