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Business to business marketing

Business to business marketing requires a different approach than marketing to consumers. In my experience a sale to a consumer is frequently a one- step process while obtaining a sale from a business is usually a multi-step process.

Unfortunately, many business to business marketing campaigns are expected to produce the “one step” result, consequently, if an immediate sale is not made, the sales effort is abandoned.

In real life, it takes much more than an e-mail or a letter to obtain a sale. It takes a series of contacts in the form of e-mails, e-newsletters, brochures, personal contact, letters, phone calls, etc. to turn a prospect into a paying customer.

This “drip” method of building trust and explaining benefits must be accomplished in a clear, easy to understand format and re-enforced in each contact method. The main message has to convey how the product/service works and what benefits it will provide.

You are dealing with an individual that will make the purchase decision for the company; thus, it is important to appeal to both the individual as well as the company.

Business to business marketing has another advantage over marketing to consumers. It is easier to identify and to locate your target market. This allows for a more focused approach as your market is smaller.

Like all marketing efforts, the first hurdle is to get the attention of the business owner (decision maker). Sending unsolicited e-mails, letters, etc. seldom get read and often create a negative image for the sender. Because it is known exactly where your prospect is hiding (in his place of business), it is easier to create a back door opportunity for the first contact.

A first goal should be to get your name in front of the business prospect through a third party. For example, writing an article for a trade publication that the prospect reads, or even taking an advertisement in such a publication will add to the credibility of your firm. Other possibilities include speaking to a trade organization in which your prospect is a member; being involved in community organizations or getting a personal introduction from someone that knows your prospect. These methods and others require some “footwork” but the value is worth the effort. In a “brain storming session” it is easy to come up with several third party methods for making the initial contact.

Once the contact is established then the drip marketing process is implemented. By knowing more about your prospects you now explain your value and benefits through “permission marketing” (your contacts are expected).

Great sales are a result of great and well planned marketing efforts; don’t look for shortcuts.

Nick J. Petra CFP    ideas exist only in the mind until an action plan is developed and implemented.  Talk to me at nick@strategicduck.com to help you reach your goals.

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