Reading this article would mean that you already know what ‘B2B’ means. If you do not, ‘B2B’ simply means ‘business to business’. It refers to salespeople or companies that sell products to other businesses rather than to consumers (which is B2C, business to consumer).
B2B sales come in 2 categories and each category would require a different sales approach.
The categories include:
- The sale of products or services to meet another business’s need. This includes computer equipment, office supplies, furniture and so on.
- The sale of components or parts that the businesses/companies would then use to produce their own final products.
B2B sales are actually more challenging than B2C sales, and as a result, B2B sales positions often pay better than their B2C equivalents.
If you trying to adapt to the change in the way that B2B prospects are buying, what you need to know is that ‘Buyers want to learn and not be pitched’. The way people buy nowadays has radically changed. Previously, buyers go to the sellers early in the sales just to research the item or service that they want to purchase. Once the seller had been contacted, he could exert influence over the buyer and therefore, the sale itself.
The leverage of sellers in the time past was ‘information’ and every time the buyer goes to the seller for more information, the seller could always exploit the buyer and influence the sale. Buyers did not like it.
Today, the buyers research their purchases online. They get pricing, read product reviews and even talk to people about their experience with your company’s product or service. Research has shown that B2B buyers are 60% to 90% through their purchase before they even contact the seller. This would invariably mean that the seller can no longer use information as a leverage.
What buyers want now is a consultative approach. They perceive the selling process as more like a consultation and less a transaction.
These are the six surefire B2B sales technique that you can always employ to improve your B2B sales approach and make your sale more successful:
1. Do your research
You need to know your client/lead. Do the work of a detective; picture yourself as Sherlock Holmes, getting every single detail about your lead. Important things like their company size, how many of your website pages they have visited should be researched. If they call in, start the research process while still on the call.
2. Ask your client questions
Questions are a very important sales tool, never assume anything, it would be a grave mistake on your part. Get more information in order to be able to help and add value to your client. This process will also differentiate you from your competition and make you close sales more easily. Try to avoid the yes or no questions and stick to asking open-ended questions beginning with words like how, what, who, why, where and when.
3. Learn to Listen
After asking, you should listen. Let them do 70% of the talking and you, the remaining 30%. Instead of thinking about what your next question is going to be, stop to repeat what the buyer has said. This way, the buyer feels understood. This technique will also force you to really focus on what the buyer is saying.
4. Teach your clients
While actively listening to the buyer, ensure to look for opportunities to teach and help educate them. This way, the buyer might discover that what they want, might not be what they need. When your buyer customer learns something new that helps them, the psychological power of reciprocity will help to build preference and loyalty. While doing this, also try to reduce talking about your own services or products.
5. Always be Qualifying
Use the GPCT and BANT approaches:
- Goals – get quantitative goals. What does your client need to achieve?
- Plans – What strategies and tactics do they have in place to achieve those goals?
- Challenges – What is stopping them?
- Timing – When are their goals meant to be achieved?
- Budget – is there a means to fund the solution to their problem?
- Authority – what person has influence within the company to approve the purchasing decision?
- Need – are there any specific challenges the buyer has that you can solve?
Timeline – Is there a specific time frame your solution is needed?
Make sure to get good answers for all.
6. Close that deal
If you have done the first five steps, closing the deal should feel more like an agreement than manipulation. The buyer should already feel comfortable and already know the next step to take. They have fewer questions and less remorse.
Shake hands on your closed deal!
The beautiful thing about the techniques discussed above is that you can always apply them with all your customers. However, these are not only the only ways used nowadays. You may find out on some more here. So, after adding to your clientele just rinse and repeat the steps above for your other transactions.