5 top B2B customer engagement techniques for 2016
Mike Jones, contributing editor at CustomerSurveyReport, presents five techniques on how to properly engage customer in the B2B marketplace
Although a ramification of marketing with some unique particularities and approaches, B2B is still a form of marketing nonetheless. As a result, everything is founded on the crucial dynamic between seller and buyer in order to manage to accomplish anything.
Profit out of B2B transactions might be generally more appealing and advantageous, but as part of the universal rule of equivalent exchange, it goes without saying that a lot more effort needs to be put into it. Deals are closed after several calls, after one or two face-to-face meetings, and you’re also stuck with the daunting task of trying to repel the skepticism that is nested in the hearts of most B2B customers.
As a result, customer engagement doesn’t come particularly easily. The things that you can aim at general audiences will be much more thoroughly analyzed by the representative of a company. This is all the more frustrating when you think of how this feature plays a pivotal role in building trust, completely necessary in B2B. So, then – how do we improve our odds?
1. Adaptable communication
First things first, B2B deals are sealed after a lengthy time period. You will rarely meet someone and be able to convince them right off the bat that your offer is the best alternative provided. In order to get to the desired goal, you need to stay in touch. Believe it or not, the way you do that is pretty important.
We live in an era of developed means of communication, which means that it’s become considerably easier to find ways to get in contact with someone. Keep your customers in their comfort zones and pay attention to their preferred means of communication. Are they ringing you up? Sending e-mails? Chatting via Skype? Adapt to these means of communication to show that you’re paying attention and that you care about their needs.
2. Expanded horizons
If you haven’t already, hop on board of the Internet train and start growing your influence and reputation through the use of social media. Making your offer known to other companies is considerably more difficult than in the case of B2C, which means that you’ll need to accentuate a lot on the opportunities provided.
Social media optimization (SMO) is something extremely useful for companies that wish to keep track of all their social media in one place. Expand as much as possible wherever you can. In a time when it’s believed that you don’t exist unless you’re on the Internet, you’re definitely going to find at least one platform hosting a possible client.
3. Seized moments
Just like commercials require finding a way to be as compelling as possible in only a few tens of seconds, for B2B you need to do the same thing for your few interactions. If it’s the customer that approaches you first – that’s good news, it means they’re interested.
If not, you should make them interested by always having something meaningful to say. Make sure you’ve cleared off your schedule before contacting the client and give them your full focus and attention. Give them something to think about until the next meaning and never go by the premise “I’ll save the best for later.”
4. Encouraged feedback
Company representatives want something as close to perfection as possible, so don’t be surprised if they start nitpicking. But even so, it may not be nitpicking. Maybe they want something else and you are actually able to provide it.
Don’t just babble on about your offer and expect for it to blend perfectly on the representative’s desires. Encourage them to tell you exactly what they want and try to adapt the offer wherever you can. This is the face-to-face equivalent of a great customer survey.
5. Appealing humanity
Last but not least, even though B2B mostly values profitability over anything else, there are still ways you can tap into the subconscious human desires of a person. You may have an attractive offer to get the task done, but so could other competitors.
What can set you apart is if you find interesting ways to engage that will turn your meeting into a collaboration rather than a seller-buyer interaction. For example, don’t just put the accent on the financial benefits. Instead, let it be known why your offer is good for long-term, why it can provide security, stability, why it can lure more customers to their company.
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