How You Need to Run Your B2B Differently
Learning to look after your business in the right ways completely depends on the industry you operate in. Business-to-business (B2B) is often considered to be just a logical extension of how a business-to-customer (B2C) company runs. For those people who are looking further afield to develop their entrepreneurial process, they may benefit from understanding some of the fundamentals of running a B2B in comparison to a B2C. Needless to say, they are two different beasts.
You’re Not Selling to People…
The first thing to remember is that, in terms of your strategies, you are focusing on selling to a business, not to a person. If you are selling supplies to commercial roofers, you need to cut out the fluff that comes with marketing practices and the sales jargon. When it comes to marketing to a business, they have the same needs as you, which can make for great camaraderie and can potentially speed up your business dealings.
… But You Still Need to Build Relationships
Relationship building is critical, and just because you have things in common doesn’t mean that you are going to get off on the right foot. Businesses are operating on the “time is money” modus operandi more than ever, and they will not buy from you unless you meet their needs. This is why strategy is so important, especially in building relationships. You have to consider that personal relationships are necessary, not just for making sales, but to boost referrals. You should still prioritize a marketing strategy, but it may come from a different angle, for example, by increasing your targets and knowledge about your products, rather than fulfilling a gap in the market or eliciting that need as you would do in B2C. An honest relationship is critical for customer retention in B2B
You’ll Need to Please More People…
You need to drive long-term growth, and this means there are more people that you need to please. It’s not just about external customers or suppliers, you’ve got to influence all of the decision-makers within the customer’s office. From stakeholders to HR, customer service, finance, and so much more, you need to learn how to get on the side of everyone. Each department may have a say in the final purchase decision, which is why relationships are so important.
… And It Takes Longer to Get Results
Because you are aiming to please more aspects of the business, the results naturally take longer to come around. There is a lot more at stake, and giving every aspect of the business the opportunity to decide whether purchasing from you is a worthwhile option can mean a longer waiting time, but you can speed the process up by ensuring your sales process is streamlined. It takes a long time to find-tune selling practices, especially when there are so many parts of a business that needs to be absolutely sure purchasing from you is the best decision.
You should run a B2B business in a different way. These four aspects are going to influence how you compose yourself, market your company, and develop relationships in the long run.
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