You may have noticed that selling to a customer is very different than selling to a business. If you haven’t noticed then you probably only deal with one of the other, or you are a master salesperson and you just have that nack. If so, congratulations. However, for everyone else, it isn’t easy.
When someone is making a decision on a purchase they will evaluate different aspects of the purchase is for themselves or for their company. If you were to buy a car for yourself, you would probably end up with a different car than if you were to buy some kind of company car.
But why is this? In this article, I will be looking at 3 main B2C (Business to Customers) sales aspects that won’t work for B2B (Business to Business), and how you can adapt them so they do.
As mentioned, purchasing for a company is different from purchasing for one’s self. B2B sells for business and strictly professional use, whilst B2C is more personal and for the average consumer.
A B2B product maybe something like supplying materials to a factory or maker. There is a high chance that the company receiving the materials will be B2C focused or at least the product they create will be.
A B2B service, maybe going into another company and giving a talk on how to boost sales through LinkedIn. The people attending the talk may then use the skills taught and put them in a B2C capacity.
So the difference between B2B and B2C is relatively simple, so how do we identify B2C sales, and evolve them to suit B2B specifications?
Deciding to buy
With B2C your focus is the customer, you are telling one person what it is they want or need. If your product is a sofa, the customer may well want to sit on it and check that it is comfy. They will need the right colour so it matches their living room, but it is they or perhaps a family member who will decide this. The fact that the customer is deciding to make the purchase is key.
Personal purchases are often impulsive, you could perhaps be scrolling through on Instagram, see something you like, and purchase it. In the times where we could freely visit shops, you could see a set of wine glasses, and just pick them up, because your old ones are looking a bit worn. Or whatever excuse you would like to have for buying new wine glasses. Most of us work on impulses and emotions when we are buying things, and so B2C is all about making you want them. Focus on the customer’s wants and needs.
If work in construction and run out of materials, you will need to tell whoever is in charge that you need more. It won’t be you who places the order, or where you order it from, it will be whoever is in charge. So B2B focuses on multiple decision-makers. It is the employee who needs the material and it is they who reports that they need the material, but not they who orders the new material.
It may not be as simple as one employee telling a manager more materials are needed though. There could be managers, owners, purchasers, and more involved in what the final order may be. You have to find who it is taht makes the ultimate decision and target them.
Purchasing for a company will not be impulsive. There will be a long process, logistics and rationality are in play at all times. Speed and cost are not the only important factors. The company wants to know that they are being looked after, that someone will be there to help them with any queries they may have every step of the way if necessary. More research will be done, and you need to be ready for any questions that may come your way.
B2C often won’t need a sales team. Of course, in-store they need staff, and online they ay need people to run a brief online help chat, but none of these people are needed to increase sales. I mentioned earlier about scrolling Instagram and just buying something, it is the same with Facebook, Pinterest. Of course, you also have the likes of Amazon and Etsy and find something you didn’t even know existed and decide that you need it.
B2B is far more specialist orientated, you can’t just put a picture up and a brief description and expect a company to buy anything from you. You need a team of salespeople who not only know the product but advertise it in detail. Use platforms such as LinkedIn to build interest in your brand and show what it is you have to offer.
You will find B2B is much harder n a platform such as Facebook because so many people are there for personal use only. Make use of LinkedIn, people are there for business.
‘Just do it’, ‘Every little helps’, even ‘Ba ba ba ba baa, I’m lovin it.’ You probably know these slogans and where they are from. When you are selling to customers your brand is at the forefront of everything you do. T is how you create a lasting effect, and it is how you become more well known. If you go to buy some shoes, you probably have a coup of brands in mind, the same if you were to buy a TV or fridge.
You want your brand to stick in a customer’s mind. Maybe you have an email campaign they can sign up for to be notified of sales and new items. Perhaps you offer a discount on their next shop if they leave a review. There are many ways to keep a brand at the front of a customer’s mind when they come to make another purchase.
Businesses though may look at your item if they have seen your brand but remember they will be doing a lot more research. You are better off looking into lead generation. Constantly be building your network of connections, contacts, and potential clients. A connection with an employee somewhere could lead to a conversation with their CEO a few months down the road.
Word of mouth travels fast, so if you do a great job for one person, a dazzling review can boost you to no end. Just ensure people see said review.
Having a vast network will very rarely be a bad thing, the more people seeing what you have to offer and seeing it in a professional sense rather than just a brand. The more likely you are to hit those sales and reach even more companies.
So, don’t think about just one consumer, think about everyone involved in the chain, share your specialist knowledge, and make sure everyone knows what you are talking about and what you are offering.