Shorthand for business-to-business marketing, B2B is a strategy that is quite self-explanatory. Basically, it is the exchange of goods between entrepreneurs in order for each of them to produce their deliverables and distribute them on time.
One example of a B2B relationship is that which exists between a manufacturer, suppliers, and wholesale distributors. Essentially, all of them are businesses in their own right but for each to generate income, they need other merchants to keep the machinery going.
So whether you’re considering the B2B way of running your business or you’re already in it and simply looking for ideas to better the process, here are some tips you should keep in mind.
1. Do your homework.
It is true that putting up a business involves raising sizeable capital, but the work doesn’t stop there. An endeavor as big as this entails a lot of research and trial and error. In short, to ensure that your machine is well-oiled, you have to fill it up with the correct fuel.
When putting up a business, one of the things that should be on top of your priorities is to know your audience. Learn who they are, what they are up to, where they are, and what makes them tick.
Once you know who you will be dealing with, it will be easier to come up with marketing strategies that can possibly work for them. Will they like an animated commercial, a witty billboard, or both? By identifying your audience, you will be able to appeal to their senses and intelligence better.
2. Educate your prospective partners.
The adage “Knowledge is power” would have died along with the dinosaurs if it wasn’t true. Arming your prospects with pertinent data will help them make sound decisions and those decisions include whether they’re going to do business with you.
Give your business partners that power by educating them not just about your product but also the process behind it, especially if it involves complicated terms and/or methods. You don’t need to tell them what your secret recipe is, and you don’t have to give a detailed presentation either.
What you can do is make them appreciate how their business can significantly help yours improve. Don’t talk them down. Instead, give them the opportunity to learn and analyze what you do so they can make rational choices at the end of the day (i.e. do business with you).
3. Communicate through social media.
Social media is an ideal place to make your business known not just to customers but also to other entrepreneurs. Social networking accounts are a breeze to update and it also allows you to be transparent and amicable.
But having an active social media presence has its own prerequisites. Say, for example, you want to focus more on operating within geographical boundaries (i.e. within your state or country perhaps). Consider using jargon your market can relate to. On the other hand, if you’re offering services that can be availed by people from all over the world, you have to use a global language and tone down biases as much as you can.
4. Hold online conferences.
Time is one of the best investments you can make and receive, especially since being an entrepreneur will make you busy. However, there will be instances when your business partners are miles away and the only feasible means to meet halfway is through the Internet.
So why not just use the time you’ll spend traveling to hold an online meeting instead? You can make conference calls, swap presentations, and even hold brainstorming sessions without even having to leave your office.
Not only will it save you money you’re also saving energy for both you and your prospects. A mature business owner will appreciate your finding an efficient alternative when they feel that you value their time.
5. Keep your lines open.
One of the most critical parts of doing business is the follow through and this is not just about providing the best batches of products or premiere services. A lot of interaction between business partners is required to ensure productivity and to minimize liabilities.
As such, make yourself available to your fellow entrepreneurs whenever you can. Encourage them to provide feedback regarding your transactions, and ask them for suggestions on how you can improve.
If you can, set a schedule of when you should conduct an evaluation; just make sure it will be convenient for all the parties involved. Also, try your best to address concerns and queries within 24 hours.
Like many other ventures, B2B marketing is easier said than done. There may be pitfalls along the way, since there is no assurance that you share like minds with your business partners. But with enough research, patience, and hard work, you will eventually discover and tread the right path towards financial stability.
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