After nearly 10 years of helping entrepreneurs improve their marketing, I still get a kick out of people that claim “my business is different”.
Usually they claim their buyers are different than any other buyers.
Often though it comes down to this…
“…I sell to businesses – not consumers. And business buyers don’t fall for the same tricks you are sharing Troy.”
I will say this… Business to business (B2B) buyers are NOT different than Business to consumer (B2C) buyers!
A BUSINESS cannot buy anything.
Someone, somewhere, has to be involved in the purchasing process.
And anytime a person is involved, there are biases, prejudices, emotional triggers and hidden motives involved.
As much as we like to pretend otherwise, I don’t think there are too many businesses who use robots for purchasing from strangers. :o)
Yes, there can be minor changes you make to your campaigns to target business buyers, but people are people and the exact same tools and techniques that work in the B2C market ALSO work in the B2B market.
I have shown this many times over the past blog posts.
Like the one client who sells B2B: we sent out 200 letters to a COLD list… business buyers who had NEVER heard of him before. These were highly sophisticated buyers who worked for companies that ranged from $5 million a year to $500 million a year.
We mailed a 2-page black and white letter (no fancy brochures – no gloss – no color – not even a picture to be seen).
We sent it DIRECTLY to the purchasers.
We got a 18% response rate (the goal of the campaign was to initiate direct contact with the purchasing managers – either through a phone call or email… in essence, getting that first foot in the door).
The letter talked more about his family than his business!
And we got email after email THANKING US FOR WRITING A PERSONAL LETTER.
One guy said “I get DOZENS of ‘pitch letters’ like this a week – I want to commend you on writing a very personal letter like this – I wish I saw more of this in my business”.
Guess something like that shows you that B2B buyers are NOT different…. they are people and like to buy from people.
So keep that in mind next time you are thinking up excuses on why YOUR buyers are different.
They aren’t that different.
They still eat, sleep, dream and have fears or dreams.
They are people like you and I are.
Treat them that way.
Not many B2B sellers do… so you will definitely stand out from the rest of the nonsense!
PS: I wanted to make sure you understand this – I have personally sold both B2B and B2C.
When I was working for Hewlett Packard in their Unix systems group… I sold $50,000 computer systems to business buyers. I also sold multi-million dollar servers and storage systems to business buyers. There was ALWAYS a person writing the final orders. Those people wanted to be TREATED like a human being too.
One potential client I nurtured for 2 years selling them smaller systems, ultimately knowing a big purchase order was coming… eventually.
And it did.
$3 million dollars worth of computer gear was sold in the end – the only reason he bought? “Because I stuck with him, and treated him the way he wanted to be treated. Not like some robot purchasing system. That was from him – the one who signed the purchase order and cheque.
If I treated him differently – the sale would have NEVER gone through.