5 Tips for B2B Sales Success
Selling to other businesses requires a different mindset when compared to typical consumer-focused selling strategies. B2B sales rely heavily on building relationships, identifying problems and offering solutions. As you approach potential business buyers, keep in mind a few important tips to maximize your chances of success.
When you sell to other businesses, you’ll be targeting some of the busiest and overworked people in the professional world: purchasers and business owners. It will often take you several phone calls, emails and in-person visits before you’ll be able to pin one of your contacts down. Most of the time, when a buyer won’t speak to you or gives noncommittal answers, they’re not disinterested; they simply don’t have the time to devote to you at that moment. Recognize the difference between an outright rejection and a simple lack of time; if your contact hasn’t directly shut you down, you might simply need to invest more time into building rapport before the customer can find time for you.
Understand Your Product
The buyers and decision makers that you’ll be speaking with juggle multiple projects and different vendors. They don’t have the time to become experts in the products and services your company has to offer. Instead, they rely on you to tell them what they need to know. Don’t focus on detailed specs or fine technical details; your buyers don’t usually care about those things. What they care about is how your products can solve their problems. In learning about your products, focus on identifying what makes your products different and what problems each of them can solve for your B2B customers.
Listen to Your Customers
When you do manage to score an appointment with an elusive contact, resist the urge to spend all your time talking about your products. Instead, ask questions to identify the problems that your contact’s business is facing. If you can ask the right questions, your customers will happily tell you all about the struggles they’ve been having and what they hope to gain by working with you. Once you know what your customers need, you can use your product knowledge to match them with the right product or service from your company.
Be an Advocate
In sales, you’ll need to be an advocate both for your company and for your customers. Your customers will remember any time that you’ve gone to bat for them and reward you with more favorable contracts and more consistent sales. On the flip side, don’t be afraid to press your customers if you feel they’re not taking advantage of all that your company has to offer. If you’re not willing to fight for your company, your customers may wonder why they should bother working with you.
Take the Long View
B2B relationships have the potential to bring in a steady stream of recurring revenue. However, if you treat your customers like disposable numbers, they’ll look for an excuse to stop doing business with you. Sometimes you might need to take a momentary loss, give your customer the benefit of the doubt or hand out a freebie to strengthen your long-term relationship with the customer. You don’t want to simply make one sale to the customer; you want to earn their business for the entire lifetime of their company.