Finding Happiness in B2B
When our president, Billy Mitchell, told me about the book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose (written by the CEO of Zappos.com), I knew I had to check it out. It’s chock full of information about how happiness can lead to success, using scientific research as support, which is right up my alley.
People are always asking me what the differences are between B2B marketing and B2C marketing, and of course there are plenty, but this book made me think about one in particular: In B2C marketing, if someone makes a bad purchasing decision (such as I did last week, with an over-priced face lotion), the decision affects only that person (not counting the people to whom that person will inevitably complain). But in B2B, when a business decides to buy one company’s product or service over anothers, and then that company doesn’t deliver, the business could suffer serious repercussions. People could lose their jobs, departments could be lost, the business even could lose its reputation. Bottom line, a bad decision in B2B could lead to a loss of livelihood.
Most times, I’ve found that if a company makes a mistake or doesn’t deliver, its because somewhere along the line the system broke down, and this breakdown was the product of an employee or employees just not caring. This is where “Delivering Happiness” comes in. The book says that the key to making a business care is happiness.
So how do you find happiness? Well, money is important, but research related to Maslows Hierarchy suggests that once someones basic survival needs are met (such as shelter, food, water, etc.), more money may not always be the answer. In fact, having good employer/employee relationships, personal achievement and creativity may be just as important.
So think about ways your B2B company can create a happy culture. Sure money is important, but think about other ways, like improving company relationships and fostering creativity. For example, my company sent all of us to Costa Rica one summer. Just try and not feel creative in a place like that. Another example is our on-site gym, filled with top-notch equipment and satellite television. Not only does exercise help with the stress, it also helps foster relationships by getting employees spend together independently of work. We all know that when people are happy, they are more productive and effective; so develop your own B2B culture around happiness, and you may not only improve your business but also keep your livelihood.