The ability to successfully gain clients and boost sales through going business to business requires dedication, hard work and consistency. For clarity, business to business means going out and introducing yourself in person to potential clients at their storefronts with the hopes of connecting them to your speciality. This not only requires the right person, it also requires the right attitude. To help drive more sales and continue to improve on your client relationships, we’ve compiled our top tips to improve your business to business sales.
Here are 8 specific tips for Business to Business Sales individuals or startups to start using right away.
Once you get a lead, the next step is to research! Find out everything you can about your lead as quickly as possible. Facts like company size and level of interest (check your analytics,) can really help you make a tailored pitch that represents your services or products in an appealing way. You can even start this research before you walk in to really make your pitch relevant to their work.
2. Prepare for your job to change
Don’t get me wrong, you did an awesome job starting your business! Getting those first clients in and determining your marketing plan required a lot of hard work. Now that you’ve accomplished this, it’s time to change and strategize all over again. You need to set up sales target based commission plans and hire salespeople to work with your support team. You might have gotten comfortable being the one making those direct B2B connections, but now’s the time to focus on the big picture and accept where you are now.
3. Ask and listen
Once you’ve done all the research you can about the client, find out what else you need to know and ask them! The more information you can get about the business the more you will be able to add value and stand out from the competition.
Make your questions open-ended and get answers to the how, why, where, what, when, and who of the business you are pitching to. Remember! Assuming makes an, well, you know… Ask questions, lots of them, and then, even more importantly, LISTEN!! Repeat back what the client has said to you and try to only talk about one third of the time. It may feel counterintuitive, but it will make them feel valued, which leads us to our next tip!
4. Silence wins!
It is so cool to have an opportunity to speak to a potential client about your vision for them and their business, but remember, just a much as you like to talk about yourself, clients want to talk about themselves too, and often have a short attention span for conversations that aren’t about them! Here’s a tough little experiment, but try and see if you can pitch your vision in ten words or less. It doesn’t have to be in depth, you just want to make your prospect curious, and once you’ve done so you can start learning about them and seeing if they are the ideal fit for you.
As you are actively listening to your buyer, look out for important teaching opportunities that will allow you a chance to educate them about what they might need most. Avoid talking specifically about the services you offer and rather ask your customers about their
- Possible challenges
And then help them find out what they need. this personal touch will build commitment.
6. Set realistic expectations
This tip right here is critical, and if ignored will at some point lead to unsatisfied clients. If you speak too highly of your vision and guarantee things you are unsure of, you’ll find yourself in the weeds with clients who feel cheated. However, if you set their expectations at a highly achievable point that you know you can hit, anything after that is exceeding those expectations, which every client enjoys!
7. Know your sales funnel
Too many startups work hard but forget to measure that work and the success it brings. If you’re asked how your business got where it is, you should be able to answer in detail. If you’re succeeding that’s great, but you need to understand your sales funnel and have as many data points as possible from your ICP and CRM in order to continue recreating that success. With this knowledge you’ll be able to look at what leads are reaching the bottom of the funnel and add more of those to the top!
8. Develop systems for repeatable tasks.
If you have to do something more than twice, systemize it! Since you go through the same steps when moving a customer down the sales funnel for example, make this an ordered and repeatable system with premade email and call summary templates (easily found online.) Basically, if it a core aspect of your business, or even just important enough to be repeated, systemize it!
And there you have it! Eight of my favorite tips for startups relying on business to business connections. Employ some of these in your day to day and expect to see some exciting results! Tell us some of your favorite B2B startup tips in the comments.