Internet Radio Show: 21st Century Entrepreneur | The Difference between B2B & B2C Sales & Marketing | Aired Friday, May 29, 2015 at 12 NOON
This Friday May 29 we will be airing another episode of “21st Century Entrepreneur” which is an Internet radio program aimed towards educating business owners and their advisors on how to make their businesses more successful and profitable. It is a show hosted by JC Maldonado who is the CEO of BizGro Partners, a Business Development Firm that helps small and midsize companies grow, expand, and transition. This week we will discuss the core differences between B2B sales & marketing and sales & marketing at the non-business consumer level. It is important to understand the differences between the two (2) business types, so that the entrepreneur can determine which growth strategy suits his or her business.
Below is a blog discussing key concepts in B2B selling which can serve as a foundation for Friday’s discussion. Finally, we have gained some interesting insight during our recent interviews from experienced entrepreneurs. To hear recorded versions of these shows, click on 21st Century Entrepreneur Archives.
5 Keys to Successful B2B Selling
Selling to a business entity is a different science and art form than selling to a non-business consumer. Non-business consumers tend to be impulse buyers and will typically buy on emotion. Many of the non-business consumer reasons to buy are to help them feel better about themselves and their life. Business people possess different buying habits than non-business consumers when purchasing products and services for their business. Their purchasing decisions mainly revolve around whether a product or service increases their profitability and whether the company they are doing business can be relied upon for consistent service. Hence, if a business thinks your product or service can make them money and they believe you are reliable, the sale becomes a foregone conclusion. Based on this premise we would like to share 5 strategies to close business in the B2B world.
Reduce your product and service to money
Remember, what we emphasized before regarding a business buying a product or service to increase profitability. Hence, it is important to always point out the dollarized value of your offering. Are you selling increased savings, tax write-offs, increased sales leads, increased sales, efficient use of energy, the ability to produce more product faster, reduced liability, faster delivery time, additional profit centers, elimination of unnecessary staff, effective utilization of staff, higher ROIs, and/or a combination of all of these items? When you think about it, your real product in B2B selling is money and everything else is secondary. Your dollarized value, therefore, must always be spelled out with clarity. It is also important to understand that selling “money” is not the same as selling on price or service. If you are in the price cutting business, you are in a place of no return because someone will always be cheaper and your customer retention can suffer as a result. If you are selling “service,” you are not being clear and more importantly you are stating what all of your competitors are saying as well. Service is only important if it can be translated into profits.
Build Trust and Credibility with Potential Clients and Clients alike
Building credibility and trust comes down to one simple concept: Do you do what you say and do you have a track record of doing what you say? If you do what you say and have also established a reputation for doing what you say, then business people will trust you. If you do not do what you say, business people will not trust you. Some key things for establishing credibility are the following:
- Never be late for meetings, or if you are late communicate that you are going to be late in an apologetic tone beforehand.
- Always follow up when you say you are going to follow up.
- Give references and testimonials to new potential clients all the time.
- Always be prepared for every meeting and be diligent.
- Never exaggerate. If anything, temper your claims and over deliver on your promises.
- Be respectful and professional at all times.
Credibility and trust speaks to whether a client or potential client truly believes you and your claims. If business people do not believe you, it will be hard to sell to them no matter how much value your value proposition has.
Strong business accounts or customers are like attractive females; they get “hit on” a lot. A typical business receives dozens of phone calls and is in touch with many potential suppliers for their business. Strong potential clients will typically want to weigh out their options before they decide with whom to do business with. The best quality you can show a potential client is persistence. Persistent activity shows your potential client that you are organized and can potentially be reliable. It also demonstrates to your potential client that you have belief in your products/services. Be aware of being overly persistent. There is a thin line to belief persistence and being a pest. All follow up should be scheduled and should be exercised with the acquiescence of the potential client.
Everything Begins with a Sales appointment
There is a tendency in today’s modern world that people will buy on the phone or over the web and that a relationship is no longer needed to consummate a sale. In B2B selling that could not be further from the truth. Selling is a contact sport and you must work the numbers. One of the most important numbers to hit is sales meeting or conference calls with qualified prospects. The face to face meeting gives one the opportunity to establish rapport, credibility, and a basis to do business. It also gives you the opportunity to clarify and present your value proposition. There is nothing like a sales meeting with a qualified prospect and if your day is spent cultivating new qualified prospects, your business will grow.
The Ultimate Goal is to Get Referrals from Happy Customers
When you think about it, the easiest sale in the world is a referral from a happy customer. Referrals are easier sales to make because the trust, credibility, and understanding for the value proposition elements have been addressed beforehand. The goal of any business’s marketing program is to procure more customers and make these customers happy so that they can capitalize on referred business. Nevertheless, if you want referrals, you must have a system for asking for referrals. If you do not ask, it will be difficult to produce referred leads on a consistent basis. Call all your clients today and ask if they know one other company or individual that would make an ideal customer of yours. This simple direct question can lead to the consistent procurement of sales leads.
If you have any questions with regard to the B2B selling process, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.