Business-to-business sales and advertising should be treated no differently than business-to-consumer. Why?
The products and services we sell to businesses as compared to consumers are not the
issue here. The issue is the common denominator: the decision maker. The decision makers in all matters of buying are people.
Effective presentations must use benefit-rich words in written copy and speech
Benefit-rich presentations, whether with the written word or spoken is the #1 most important emotional trigger to keep in mind when crafting and delivering a sales message. For B-to-B sales, the motivating factors generally revolve around generating more sales, increasing profit margins, or becoming more efficient.
Features are important but pale in comparison to the importance of benefits. Benefits touch the imagination, the emotions and create motivation.
Remember this when crafting a sales message: “Features tell, benefits SELL”. Resist a bullet list of features until you have brainstormed a list of benefits.
Here’s a good idea for how to find more benefits within the benefits of your product: list the benefits of your benefits! What’s that mean? Here’s an example: Instead of saying, “I sell search engine optimization services which helps websites become more visible to people who are looking for a business like yours.”, I should say, “I make your website better so more website visitors become customers.” That was a benefit-statement. “…and more customers from coming in for your website reduces your client acquisition costs to almost zero.” That’s the benefit of the benefit. “…and the money you will save on commissions will pay for your kids’ college tuition.” That’s the benefit of the benefit of the benefit!
Buyers are motivated by fear-avoiding danger is a benefit
Buyers for businesses are motivated by fear. Steering them away from danger is another benefit. It’s generally not the first point to leverage in your pitch but it can be. IBM, for example used this strategy effectively for many years back when they were the dominant player in computers and business equipment. “No one ever got fired for specifying IBM.”
This was an effective sales message back in the 1970’s, way before consumers were buying anything stamped with the IBM label. This is a clear example of how an advertising message was delivered on an emotional level to a buyer or purchasing department. In addition to delivering a message to job security, it also delivered another message: “Our price is higher but don’t let that bother you”.
Purchasing agents are people. Purchasing departments are made up of people. People are motivated by the same things: WIIFM, “What’s in it for me?” Approach all sales and marketing from the standpoint of emphasizing the benefits from every angle you possibly can in every sales.
Features tell-Benefits sell!
Have something to brag about? Want to get it out there but you don’t want to appear conceited? I pulled it off a couple days ago and ended up with a hot lead for a new client.
Many of us don’t have Facebook Fan pages, we ONLY have personal pages so this is relevant to business owners and professionals alike. Even though I have a Facebook Fan page for my business, there was a story about a business victory of mine I wanted my friends to see, not just my clients.
I got an email from a client who I helped with their search engine optimization. In case you don’t know the definition of SEO, it’s the process of making a website more likely to appear (than competing websites) when someone searches for a given topic. The content of the email was an image of website traffic statistics. Very impressive statistics, I might add. I’d delivered awesome results the client was obviously happy about and so was I.
Images capture attention online and especially on social media
Everyone with a website wants to become more visible online and this was both visual and social proof tied in with a sort of testimonial all wrapped up in one report which I captured as an image on my computer screen.
“I took the image and posted it on the Facebook news feed and wrote: Some shameless self promotion (it’s like a selfie if sorts). My SEO work took this Atlantic City hotel’s website from under 4000 hits per month to over 21,000. Know anyone who needs results?”
This generated an instant message and ultimately a request for a quote for my services and and then a phone call which sealed a deal.
Notice how the post openly admits “Some shameless self-promotion” which actually serves to add a little humor and diffuse the boastfulness a little bit. Even so….if 300 people think I’m pompous, so what!…I just landed a new client.
The big takeaway here? I guess there are 2:
At Small Business University , we deliver value by bringing together like-minded business people to network, learn and share. Check out our event schedule and register to attend.
If you have a message about business, personal development, motivation or inspiration you think is good for our audience, apply to speak at a future event. We also invite guest blogging so if you have any content you feel would be valuable for our audience and you want to promote yourself and your website at the same time, submit original content only to: firstname.lastname@example.org