As has been the case with every industry, the dynamics of selling and buying as well have undergone a huge makeover. And this change is causing us to rethink as to how we get our customer to buy our solution. It is making us reinvent the ways with which a business owner needs to approach her clients especially in the context of B2B selling. Startups, SMEs, corporates, whoever is your client, they are having lesser and lesser time to give to your sales pitch. Then what you can do to be the one who bags the deal and gains a long term relationship with the client.
To arrive at a solution, we first need to look at the reason why this is happening. As we are now thriving in the digital age, people are used to online buying, not only clothes, jewelry, gadgets, and books but also personal services and subscriptions. This, in general, preparing them to be the buyer who knows what she wants and is used to just having it delivered. In this scenario, nowhere there is the need for a seller. Creative and content-rich marketing takes away the show. Essentially there is a buyer behavior which is influenced by her consumer behavior. So now in the B2B setting, the same buyer (remember they are humans after all) thinks that the same approach is valid. However, that’s not the case.
There definitely is a chasm. What is it that you can do to creep into this chasm and win a deal. Well, every buyer has certain expectations apart from good pricing, quality, delivery, etc. Those things definitely have their place but the buyer is looking for these things a little bit more:
- Understand my business: In this highly connected internet age, there is more information available than you possibly need. And thus the buyers expect that before you come to them, you already know about their business, their expertise, legacy even financial projections or employee strength. This prior information about their business makes them believe that you are genuinely interested in them and cared about doing some amount of research.
- Good communication skills: This is about bringing effectiveness in your verbal and nonverbal communication. You need to take that extra initiative to improve interpersonal skills as well as likability. The messaging needs to customized according to whom you are talking to – whether it’s the CXO level executive or someone who is a departmental head. Innovate and personalize your approach.
- Being there after the sales: You might be selling your service and thereafter delivery is done by your staff. But then did you check in with the buyer a few days later to see if she is happy with the service. We love asking our friends how they find our new red dress. It’s a validation for our purchase, the choice we have made. In a similar manner, the buyer needs you to give them that assurance that they have made a good decision by getting into business with you.
- Provide insights and knowledge: We can never overemphasize this point as it is so critical. As said previously, people know too much in this digital age. Then what is it that you are bringing to the table that no one else is. Instead of saying ‘The productivity of your employees will grow 30% through this mindfulness workshop’ you may introduce the buyer to new possibilities by saying ‘What it will be like if your employees are happy to come to work every day because they love being super achievers’. If you are a subject matter expert, then show them that by giving a value which otherwise they wouldn’t be having.
Selling is an imperative action on every business owners list. As you do not have a choice of not doing sales, you might as well up your game at selling by aligning your methodologies with these expectations and escalate your business.