Recently, I had someone ask me about the reason behind focusing so much of my time on professional service organizations.
The answer I gave at the time focused on the need in the market and the fact that too many organizations just haven’t jumped on board the differentiation train enough to make them stand out in their market.
But that answer wasn’t really wholly effective.
The real reason I spend a lot of time focusing on B2B selling and marketing is that so much value and opportunity is lost by the way that most professional services are sold and by improving that, I help people take control of their careers and give them security.
Knowing that most B2B marketing and selling doesn’t do the best job of showing off the product or service, I thought I would put together a quick list of ways to create high impact with your B2B marketing and sales efforts.
Focus on Outcomes:
If I’ve seen one tech or professional service website, I’ve seen them all.
You know the challenge, the B2B site is focused on their attributes of being “cutting edge,” “principled,” “hard-working,” or something else that really should just be the bare minimum of entry in today’s world.
Where a great marketing effort focuses is on the outcomes you create for your clients.
That means that instead of discussing your methodology or how “hard working” your firm is, focus on the way that you change your client’s results.
You know the sort of thing where the website throws out every twisted version of the latest buzz word, meant to convey how well you have mastered the buzz word, and how you can create change.
The dirty secret is that most executives tune you out when you come gunning them down with all the latest buzz words and BS.
Your job in selling and marketing to other businesses is to focus on impact:
- How do you save your clients money?
- How do you save them time?
- How does working with you make them more money?
That’s where you should be focusing your marketing and sales efforts, on impact.
Stop Trying To Be One Size Fits All:
Another big challenge all too many B2B sellers and marketers try is to be everything to everyone.
In today’s world, one-size-fits-all is really one-size-fits-none.
In today’s world, even if there are common themes to people’s pain or needs, the customer still wants to feel like there is a certain amount of personalization or thought put into the marketing and selling of the product or service.
The key to maximizing your B2B marketing and selling efforts in today’s economy is that you have to know what the value you create for your potential client’s is and you have to have the flexibility to take that value proposition and shape it into insights that show the way that your value adds to the business you are selling into.
This means that you are going to need to get comfortable not selling from a deck.
The path from prospect to closed doesn’t play out in a clean deck format.
You’ll need to get dirty a little bit by asking good questions, providing insights, and understanding your prospect’s business.
This means that you are going to have a lot of unique sales conversations that might fit a template, but are likely to be very different.
You Can’t Allow the Prospect to Control the Sales Process:
In today’s world, it has become easy to buy into the widely shared statistic that goes something like, “the buyer is 69.3% to a buying decision before they engage with a salesperson.”
That’s crap and it is a convenient way for salespeople to be reactive without acting like it.
The truth is that if you are waiting for someone to pick your product or service out of a mixture of competing products and services, you are completely failing.
As the salesperson, you have to manage and control the marketing and selling process.
You can’t expect that your prospect knows exactly what they need, when they need it, and that you are the person that will give it to them. That’s the kind of buying and selling that takes place in RFPs and in government contracting and neither area has a great record of getting maximum ROI or value.
To maximize the impact of your B2B efforts, you need to take control of the process.
That means that you need to understand the sales process from start to finish.
What commitments do you need from a prospect along the way?
If you don’t know the commitments that are needed to make a sale in the modern business environment, pick up Anthony Iannarino’s recent book, The Lost Art of Closing.
In his book, Anthony lays out the 10 closes that get you to the ultimate close in modern selling.
This really helps you understand that you have to have control of the sales process. Which is different than the inbound marketing mantra that is offered up by too many companies is that you have to be ready when someone picks you.
To maximize your B2B selling efforts, you have to be willing to take control of the sales process, influence the process of creating a preference, and creating an opportunity that focuses on your unique value proposition.
These are only 3 ideas that will help you be more effective in your B2B marketing and selling, but by thinking through how they apply to you, I think you will start to give yourself an advantage.
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