Marketing Bootcamp

Stop Trying to Kiss Your B2B Clients on the First Date

We’ve all been told that kissing on the first date is a faux pas. And this same advice can be applied to B2B marketing.

B2B marketing requires you to build a relationship between you and your potential customers, not unlike the relationship that’s built through dating. So, we need to shift our focus from closing the deal immediately towards informing your customers and building trust.

This strategy can at times be difficult to comprehend or implement, as most marketing guides, textbooks and information are based on B2C marketing. But B2C purchases are usually more impulsive and have less riding on them than their B2B counterparts. A B2B transaction often requires the approval of several decision makers, can affect the entire organization and usually costs much more than your typical B2C transaction. So, why would we use B2C techniques for a B2B message? That is a good question.

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I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have the sale in mind when you are marketing to your potential clients. What I’m suggesting is that a long-term goal should be to build trust with your clients and make them into lifelong customers instead of one-night stands.

Having buttons that demand your customers to “buy now” or “click here”, are the equivalent of leaning in for a smooch on the front step when you pick up your date for the first time. Yes, they can be effective if your customer (or date) is an easy sell, but they can also come off as pushy and alienate many clients.

B2B firms should rethink their call to action (CTA). Instead of pressuring clients into buying now or clicking here, you should focus on giving information. Therefore, more effective B2B CTAs would be ones that ask the customer to “Learn More”, “See What Makes us Different” and “Get More Information”.

These will cause clients to spend more time on your site, as they learn about value adds and what separates your company from their competitors. And yes, you can rest assured that your customers are comparing you to several of your competitors. They’re looking for the solution that will offer them the best results. So, don’t be afraid of mentioning your competitors. Comparison charts are very effective at showing your customers what sets you apart from your competition.

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Similarly, you should proclaim your product’s features and how they differ from the rest of the market. Your goal isn’t to get the client to purchase without looking at other alternatives (they’re going to do that anyways), but rather to give them the information that will allow them to make an educated decision.

So, stop leaning in and demanding your B2B customers buy right now. Instead, take them out to dinner a few times, maybe a movie, and then who knows, maybe they’ll make the first move.

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