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Thread: B2B Strategy ... how do you go about it?

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    B2B Strategy ... how do you go about it?

    Hi Guys.

    I currently own an online computer store, and would like to start targeting more business and corporate customers ... but I have no experience on this and don't know how to go about it.

    I want to get involved in selling hardware, software, services and consumables to them.

    What marketing mediums do I use? Do I phone or e-mailing them asking for their IT buyers, or does that just irritate them?

    The main thing I can't figure out is the best way to market to other companies and corporates, which is mainly what B2B is about.

    Also, once I do find a business customer, especially large businesses ... how do I keep them as customers. Good service is one thing, but doesn't always mean they will come back. For consumables, do I make them sign contracts in return for good pricing, etc ... things like that I also need help with.

    Any help would be much appreciated with regards to this topic.

    Regards

    Itai

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    Some quick thoughts.

    The first goal is to be included in their supplier list.

    My experience is that direct marketing produces better results in this regard.

    Distance does affect your ability to service, so start by identifying potential clients closest to you and approach them directly.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Hi Itai

    Just yesterday I again looked up the difference between selling B2C and B2B for my own activities. The best summary I found was at http://vista-consulting.com/marketing-b2b-vs-b2c/:

    B2C
    * Product driven
    * Maximize the value of the transaction
    * Large target market
    * Single step buying process, shorter sales cycle
    * Brand identity created through repetition and imagery
    * Merchandising and point of purchase activities
    * Emotional buying decision based on status, desire, or price

    B2B
    * Relationship driven
    * Maximize the value of the relationship
    * Small, focused target market
    * Multi-step buying process, longer sales cycle
    * Brand identity created on personal relationship
    * Educational and awareness building activities
    * Rational buying decision based on business value


    Which marketing tools to use - personal phone calls to establish whether a company has a need to investigate alternative IT suppliers works best, IMHO. The aim of the call should be very clear though, and should never roll over into a lame sales pitch.

    E-mails get lost in busy decision makers' inboxes, except if they are expected. You might therefore want to call as a quick need establishment and introduction, with the aim of the call being to obtain permission to send your marketing material or service offering.


    Customer retention - As a buyer, I wouldn't like signing a contract that forces me to continue procuring from you.
    I have found over and over again that relationships are the key difference between B2B and B2C marketing/selling.
    I would rather have you form a good and non-pushy relationship with me that entails you anticipating when I might need consumables, keeping me up to date of new developments and products pertaining to me specifically (NOT a notification of every single new stock item you get in) and always delivering products and services on time, at a good price, and dependably.

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    some good replies and advice, thanks guys.

    Well I'm hopefully going to be moving into a corporate park soon, and will target the businesses in there first.

    In terms of introductory phone calls ... who do I usually ask to speak to, and what should I say to them?

    Also ... my current business image is that of a funky online IT store ... might this disgruntle businesses, should I create a division to Digital Addiction with a completely professional outlook ... and what would be the best way to go about this?
    If you need any Accounting, Tax or even Financial Management advice, PM me and I'll try help and keep your information confidential.

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    Oh ... and seeing as this is a business forum ... would anyone like to try my service
    If you need any Accounting, Tax or even Financial Management advice, PM me and I'll try help and keep your information confidential.

    Visit my Android ZA website - a website dedicated to Google Android in South Africa - www.androidza.co.za

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    Quote Originally Posted by eitai2001 View Post
    In terms of introductory phone calls ... who do I usually ask to speak to, and what should I say to them?
    The key to getting the right answers is to introduce yourself first before asking any questions. Then ask for the person who makes the purchasing decisions.

    From there it's learning how to break down the barriers.
    Quote Originally Posted by eitai2001 View Post
    Also ... my current business image is that of a funky online IT store ... might this disgruntle businesses, should I create a division to Digital Addiction with a completely professional outlook ... and what would be the best way to go about this?
    Funky is great if you're selling to young rebels. So if companies trust young rebels with their purchasing decisions, I'm sure a funky style will do well.

    You really want to get as many numbers working for you as possible. First impressions are important. Personally, I'd go with something that says sensible and reliable, with perhaps a dash of flair.

    A professional image.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Ok so assuming I am going to phone ... is there something I should keep in front of me, like a template of what to say? Some tips on how to approach the phone calls would be much appreciated
    If you need any Accounting, Tax or even Financial Management advice, PM me and I'll try help and keep your information confidential.

    Visit my Android ZA website - a website dedicated to Google Android in South Africa - www.androidza.co.za

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    Quote Originally Posted by eitai2001 View Post
    is there something I should keep in front of me,
    Yep! A mirror to make sure you're smiling.
    Make sure you're in a good mood when you make the calls.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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