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Want To Know The Best Kept B2B Marketing Secret?

By: Robert Hennessey

Want To Know The Best Kept B2B Marketing Secret?

The B2B Marketing Sales Lead Secret 

Customer-centric marketing is the best-kept secret for selling consultative products or services and generating B2B sales leads. Before we explore what makes customer-centric marketing the best marketing strategy for B2B marketers, we first need to understand what most companies use as their marketing approach.

Where Does Marketing Originate?

Most of our marketing methods come from large corporations selling their products or services to consumers. This marketing method is called B2C, or business-to-consumer marketing.

Almost all companies and individuals market their products and services based on B2C marketing. Why, because we are exposed to it every day, and then businesses mimic it and apply it to every marketing situation rightly or wrongly.

The marketing approach that big corporations employ in selling to consumers is capabilities and capacities. They say we have this ability or this capacity to _________, fill in the blank. What does this mean? It means that most people can’t wait to tell you what they can do for you. Even though they don’t care what it is you need, their sole purpose is to persuade to buy what they are selling.

Most business-to-business marketing and selling approaches are also, either capability/capacity or a derivative called information selling. This approach is let me educate on why you should buy from me. I am smart, and I know what you need, that’s why I know best, and you should, therefore, buy from me. Unfortunately, neither of these approaches comes close to addressing why in B2B sales the reason a sales prospect buys from one company versus another, it’s a relationship of trust.

Businesses do not want to buy based on what you have to sell no matter what your features/benefits, or even because it’s on sale. Trying to fool prospects into buying something they don’t want or need may result in a one-off purchase, but does not create a lifelong customer.

The formula for B2B marketing success is understanding the differences between and among marketing approaches:

  • capabilities/capacities

  • consultative/informative

  • customer-centric

Customer-centric marketing delivers a competitive B2B prospecting edge. Why? Simple it builds trust because your focus is on helping your prospective customers first before you even think about selling them anything.

The Wrong B2B Marketing Approach Will Stifle Sales

If your potential clients do not respond to your marketing message, it is because it all sounds, looks and says the same thing as every other company. In fact, you are likely creating barriers to sales if:

  • Sales prospects avoid meeting with you because they do not want to “be sold” anything.

  • Prospects lack trust because they are tired of salespeople who will say or do anything to obtain a sale.

  • Prospective clients take a defensive posture immediately because they don’t want to be "hustled" into purchasing unneeded or unwanted products or services.

Long-term, loyal customers buy based on the power of the relationship you forge or don’t forge with them. Things like creditability, trust, integrity, and putting your client first are essential.

Creating Relationship Sales

Understand the problems, concerns, needs and wants of your customer. Remember the first problem they mention may not be the real problem. Your goal is to focus solely on building a well-satisfied customer by helping them solve the business problem they have. By assisting them to solve their problem, you will forge a mutually beneficial relationship that will follow.

  1. Ask probing questions to understand the “real” problems of your prospect.

  2. Seek to gain insight into all the concerns of your potential customer, explicit and implied.

  3. Never ask for the order. Successful selling is the natural result of a relationship built on listening, caring and problem-solving. Your prospects will then ask you to help them.

  4. Don’t fixate on overcoming objections, avoid objections in the first place. Trying to overcome objections often leads to arguments & lost sales opportunities.

  5. Customer acquisition begins with building rapport and ends with a lasting business relationship.

Don’t Confuse Your Marketing Message with Message Distribution

People often confuse the method used to deliver a marketing message with a type of marketing. Many people equate telemarketing, direct mail, magazines, newsletters, email, social media and Web sites as marketing. These are not marketing approaches they are delivery methods used to distribute marketing messages.

The key to successful B2B marketing is not about how you deliver the marketing message; it is all about the marketing message you convey, to the right audience, at the right time. Providing the proper communications to the right audience at the right time achieves "perfect message alignment."

The formula for B2B marketing success requires understanding the differences between and among marketing approaches:

  • capabilities/capacities

  • consultative/informative

  • customer-centric

Then apply the appropriate approach to your target audience, coupled with a multi-layered distribution delivery of your marketing messages, all at the proper time. That is why we say Customer-Centric Marketing is the best-kept secret to generate B2B sales leads.

Customer-centric marketing delivers a competitive prospecting edge. Why? Simple it builds customer trust because your focus is on helping your prospective client first before you sell them anything.

Customer-Centric Marketing Benefits

Employing customer-centric marketing makes selling effortless because there is no sales pitch, by offering to help a person become more successful you and your company will both benefit.

  1. Enjoy increased referrals, the best form of marketing and least expensive.

  2. Reach prospects before they begin to seek solutions from others.

  3. Eliminate wasting marketing dollars on ineffective marketing approaches

  4. Pre-qualified prospects call you.

  5. Focus on profits, not response rates. Quality, not quantity is the way to a profitable ROI on your marketing investment. One hundred replies and no sales = $0 profits, but ten responses and three sales are money in the bank.

Bottom Line
Adopting a customer-centric marketing approach is essential to B2B sales if your goal is to achieve high-quality B2B sales leads and marketing success at the lowest ROI.

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