Selling products to other businesses, rather than the general public, requires a slightly different approach to the B2C marketing conventions you may be used to. The differences in marketing are important to understand for anyone looking to start a B2B venture, and yet many business owners launch into it without any grasp on effective B2B marketing. Here are some big B2B marketing mistakes you need to avoid.
If you’re looking to sell some kind of B2B product, and you’ve used the term “sales call” in any of your planning, then you’ve already made a big mistake. Sales calls have no place in B2B marketing. No one in the upper echelons of a business has time for a casual drop-in “call” from a sales rep. However, business interviews are a much more conventional part of the process. Business interviews connote a clear purpose which is clear to everyone involved. Business interviews are far more structured and will be results-orientated for you and all of the parties involved. The prospects you’ll be talking to will have done extensive preparation and research ahead of time, and you’ll have no shot at catching them unawares like you could in B2C cold calls. If you go into business negotiations with the wrong attitude, you’ll only be setting yourself up to fail.
Okay, this is a mistake which isn’t exclusive to B2B marketing. However, it’s still one which can drive a business into the ground if you don’t make a point to avoid it at all costs. There’s no room for apathy when you’ve got your marketing hat on, no matter how dull your product happens to be! You need to be in a position where you’ll be able to answer absolutely any question about your product without thinking about it. If you’re lacking knowledge about your product, then you can’t expect your prospects to have that much faith in your business! Make sure you’re demonstrating a lot of knowledge in your product, both in direct communications and in all your public marketing materials. Visit Scope Business Imaging for a great example of this.
Marketing, at its core, is appealing to people’s desires, whether that’s for purely selfish reasons or part of their commercial endeavors. When you’re in the early stages of a B2B sales process, you’ll need to have a clear idea of what your target customer wants, and how you can present your business as something that will fulfill their vision for the future. Take some time to really consider what your ideal customer would want out of your product, and then work backwards from that to define the steps that will take your customer from point A to point B. This is going to be the start of you providing that outcome to your customers in a way that’s profitable for your firm.
As you start to sell on the B2B front, make sure you’re avoiding these massive blunders!
Photo Credit: WOCinTech Chat