Business-to-business marketers have different marketing aims than marketers selling to consumers. They need to use different approaches, too.
A B2C marketer relies on emotional appeal. This is why advertisements pushing consumer goods try to highlight the beauty and desirability of their products rather than their technical specifications. A B2B marketer selling enterprise computer systems, on the other hand, will get nowhere telling his clients that his company’s computers represent “The Power to Be Your Best”, the way consumer computer companies like Apple do. Business buyers have superiors, partners and stockholders to answer to. Their decisions are largely based on the business sense evident in a buying decision.
According to experienced marketers like those found on Yodle (you can check out these Yodle reviews), B2B marketers don’t walk up to businesses aiming to persuade them that they need to overhaul their computer systems. Businesses have specific overhaul schedules that are scientifically determined. No marketer can simply convince them that they need the latest in something.
The role of a marketer in the B2B environment is restricted to convincing the buyer in a business to choose his products instead of the products of a competitor. Preparing for a B2B sales meeting, a marketer will typically go in with detailed spreadsheets about the exact costs involved in signing up for his products and the way they compare to what the competition has. He also talks about the cost-cutting customizations that his company is willing to allow, the long-term service contracts available and so on. Many B2B sales processes can take months of meetings to work out. Marketers selling to businesses can afford putting all this preparation and effort into each sale because a contract can be worth millions.
In the B2C environment, on the other hand, marketers have a completely different role. Their job is not so much to sell something as it is to convince their customers that they need a product or service (even if they don’t really need it). They appeal to customers’ vanity and emotions, use peer pressure and other tactics to convince them that they need to make a purchase. Typically, no hard data, statistics or scientific evidence is ever called for.
What kind of sales techniques does a B2B marketer need to use? B2B marketers do use emotional tactics, but in other ways.
Show your product to be the least risky option:
Buyers at businesses are ever aware that if they make a bad deal, it could prove very costly to the company and cost them their job. Marketers, then, need to focus on marketing their products as the least risky option. Allaying the buyer’s fears about making a catastrophic mistake is even more important than demonstrating how making the deal could turn out to be a great, profitable decision for the company. The buyer will typically not be as interested in winning praise for a great deal as he will be in avoiding embarrassment.
Try to befriend the buyer:
Business buyers do try to be completely logical about their buying decisions. They don’t allow themselves to make a buying decision based on a product’s appeal. They can be emotionally swayed in other ways, though.
Business buyers often buy from marketers that they like. A marketer who just comes in and makes a professional presentation will likely not stand as good a chance as a marketer who’s been making the trip for a few weeks and is on first-name terms with the buyer. B2B marketers need to plan ahead and build friendships with all the buyers that they believe they might do business with one day.
Make sure that the buyer sees why going with your product helps the company to be seen as cutting edge:
With many kinds of products, businesses are attuned to the incidental benefits of a buying decision. For instance, businesses need to constantly prove to their customers that they are environmentally conscious. If a marketer can prove that his products are environmentally friendly in some provable way, he can have an edge over the competition.
About the Author
Jessica Watts has run her business successfully for many years. When she’s got some free time, she enjoys writing about what works for her on a variety of websites.