Have you been focusing on what’s most important to business owners and managers when pitching them your B2B services?
Do you even understand what’s most important?
Keep reading and apply the knowledge below to all your future sales pitches to businesses:
Can you even be of service to them in the first place?
Understanding what your customers want is the first step to successfully selling to them. Preferably, you’ll have this information long before stepping into a meeting with, or making a phone call to them. Fact is that many businesses get so caught up in adding more and more conquests to their sales numbers, they waste a lot of time trying to sell to those whose business model doesn’t match their offer: Ie., you just aren’t capable of helping them to begin with. Find out what they sell, who they sell to, what hinders them, and then formulate a game plan to determine how exactly you can help them.
Find out where their money’s coming from.
In other words, how do they turn a profit? Or in an ideal world, how would their specific business model turn a profit if the stars were aligned properly? Most all B2B selling comes down to your ability to help your client make more money (or save it by minimizing losses). If you can’t help them increase profits in one way or another, you’re wasting your time pitching them. And for Cripe’s sake, if you discover you’re not equipped to service your chosen industry, now’s the time to head back to the drawing board and make a new plan!
Focus on selling on smart business rationale and acumen rather than emotion.
Forget about applying the same sales logic to businesses that you would selling soccer moms on weight loss pills, or middle-aged men on miracle herbal Viagra products. It generally won’t work. Emotional selling can work with smaller businesses (particularly desperate, failing ones) but with all the gatekeepers and decision makers you’ll have to deal with in most, you’re best served to use an angle based on where their money’s coming from and going out — and how you can help keep more of it in their pockets.
Efficiency equals profits.
Bringing in more customers is always a welcome benefit to any business owner or manager. However, there’s more than one way to skin a cat (note: the cat’s name is “Moe Money”). If you can streamline a current process (workflow, outsourcing, production) that you see isn’t working properly, or help eliminate outright bad processes that add nothing to their bottom line and/or introduce even better ones, your services should darned near sell themselves. Efficiency is a tougher sell when meeting with a stubborn business owner or narcissistic manager; they don’t like change and it’s usually written all over their face (ever watch Kitchen Nightmares?) However, it’s a selling point that’s often neglected by B2B services in favor of customer acquisition and inventory-related help — use this to develop a more well rounded service company that businesses will actually want to pay for.
What have you done up til’ now?
Savvy business owners and managers have been there and done that. They’ve probably played the “fake it til you make it” game a time or two and have definitely been led down a rough road by a charlatan or two at some point. If you can’t provide social proof that you’ve provided other businesses with the results you’re promising, you’ll need to talk your way in the door — with a “put up or shut up” kind of savvy. If you can’t make definitive promises about the results you plan to provide, the pie will have to be sweetened in favor of the business, rather than your immediate financial needs: Ie., a zero risk deal where the business won’t pay you til’ you put up the results you’re trying to sell them on. This is hard for a lot of B2B service companies to do, but the respect you’ll get when you finally deliver will make the end result all the more sweet!
While most individuals place a huge degree of importance on service quality, businesses mostly care about money. Making it, and saving it. That’s what the game’s all about. Service really does come second to money. I’m not saying to throw service levels to the wind, but rather that you always keep M.O.N.E.Y. in mind when trying to convince business owners and managers that you’re the answer to all their problems.
Smokescreens and smiles just don’t cut it in the B2B sales game!
Main Image Credit: Trevor Owens/Flickr