Many marketing tools and sales techniques exist to help business sell to the public. But the general public buys differently than business, so you must use different strategies to be successful. There are several keys to connecting with B2B prospects combining Internet technology and basic marketing principles:
Help your customers become experts on what you offer.
People don’t know how much they need your business until they know all you can do for them. No matter what type of B2B business, prospects need to be educated on the ins and outs of what you offer. As they become knowledgeable and confident about what you can offer them, they are more likely to buy. Think about it this way – if a general consumer walks into a pet store looking for a fish, they are more likely to buy the 60 gallon saltwater tank filled with exotic fish if they know that hobby can involve more than a ten cent goldfish and a bowl of water. This applies to your B2B marketing as well. Educate your prospects and they’ll feel more comfortable buying.
Exploit opportunities to communicate with your prospects.
With today’s online technology, creating opportunities to communicate with your prospects is easy. You should have, at the very least, an email marketing list of collected contact information from prospects that you can leverage. You can use this list to further educate your prospects and keep yourself at the top of their mind. Setting up a Facebook page for your business or starting a Twitter feed further increases this interaction.
Speak your prospect’s language.
Every industry has its own internal language. Terms, phrases, and acronyms all make up the “vocabulary” of an industry. For instance, the term “shared office space” may be a part of our vocabulary, but it isn’t necessarily a term that jumps to mind for everyone who is looking for an office. If you want to market to this industry, you must speak in a dialect that business owners and decision makers are more apt to listen to.
Sequence your communications.
Once you’ve got your email list, Facebook page and Twitter list going, you should sequence your communication across all these outlets. For example, pick a theme each month that you can talk about and educate across the different platforms throughout a week or a month. Schedule blog posts, updates for your Facebook, Twitter and email list sequentially so your prospects know the information is fresh and available cross platform. You may want to schedule messages a few months in advance so you can be sure that your content is ready to go when you need it, and your posted content never stagnates.
Evaluate your progress and make changes as need be.
Every industry is a bit different and not every B2B marketing technique will work for every business. Be sure to track your progress with any B2B marketing methods so you can learn exactly what works for your target market.
Research Analyst, Pacific Business Centers (rebranded as Pacific Workplaces)
Courtney’s research for Pacific Business Centers focuses on tracking emerging business trends and best practices – with an emphasis on how they affect business operations, technology, and the future of work trends.