First of all one must realise that the B2B market does not exist in any practical terms, it is simply an over generalisation of businesses that work directly with other businesses. Who will all belong to their own particular market for their respective industry. Trying to create an overarching strategy that encompasses all B2B’s will lead to you missing out on key customer requirements, making your strategy largely irrelevant to most of the businesses you are targeting. It is also likely to be very expensive in time and resources.
Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.
― Og Mandino
Research is a vital aspect of being able to successfully tailor your sales pitch to the right client. Focus your efforts on identifying important factors that will concentrate your approach, such as: Business size, location, industry, income, culture, etc.
There is incredible power in leading with research and leading with relevance
Once you have done that research, research more! Remember that you are not selling to a business; you are selling to a decision maker, a person. That person will have their own set of likes, dislikes, biases, habits and history. The more you learn about that person the greater your ability to build a relationship that is likely to lead to a positive result. Customer service is a very important sales tool in this regard. Not only can customer service help convert leads it can also help generate them. Turn your existing customers into advocates of your brand, this will: enhance your reputation, generate word of mouth and lead to client referrals. Along with delivering great customer service you can also give discounts and rewards to loyal clients and those that make successful recommendations as an incentive.
Another way to build a fantastic reputation that will help generate leads and convert them is your use of information. Consider organising seminars and joining conferences, these are great for building awareness and reputation but also providing valuable face to face opportunities. You won’t have to deliver any sales pitches, just be able to contribute.
A well designed professional website is an absolute essential in the modern business world. A good website must communicate your value and be content rich so that it stands out amongst the crowd and is interesting to the reader. A website filled to the brim with valued content is going to be a magnet for customers, and the content itself acts as a powerful search engine optimisation boost. It allows the sales paradigm to shift from expending effort and resources contacting leads directly, to them approaching you instead. You can also use other useful websites such as Mangob2b who act as a trusted index for B2B focused organisations, furthering your exposure to potential clients who need your services.
Think of B2B selling not as a sales pitch but as a business interview, if they are talking to you then they are already interested, a hard sell is often off putting. Use all that valuable research you have gathered and great reputation to show that it is worth their while to do business with you. A one to one tailored approach comes into its own here. If you have been thorough in your research you should have a sound grasp of the particular challenges your potential client faces and their vision for the future. It is then up to you to demonstrate how your product can meet those challenges better than your competitor and how it will help them in meeting their business vision.
Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life
– Mary Kay Ash