Pitching to businesses has changed, the days of being sold to have gone. Organisational buyers wear many hats and share responsibility for decisions, so the complexity of the relationship is not to be under-estimated. As a visiting fellow of Cranfield School of Management, I consult and train companies in key account management, building relationship in business 2 business environment.
The difference between in business 2 consumer is that you are speaking one to one, business 2 business is often one to many and the many have difference roles and motivations in the decision-making process.
4 Steps to Get your Business 2 Business Customer to say YES
1. Research is King
You have heard that customer is king well in business to business situation you may have more than one buyer in the organisation. The decision making is complex and multi-layered and for this reason research is king, the more you know, the better attuned your pitch.
Quite often it is those that work closely with the customer organisation that has experienced based knowledge and has built a relationship and the customer’s trust. So it makes sense to gather and record this core information, sharing customer data with within the supplier organisation.
In addition to researching the key drivers in the customer environment, this core information can uncover new opportunities, grow and secure the contract.
2. Understand the Decision Making Unit Motivations
There is no point wasting time selling the wrong product to the wrong people that do not have the power to make or influence the decision. Find out early who has influence and authority to sign-off the deal.
The decision-making unit (DMU) can contain a number of individual buyers:
• Gatekeeper. (source Cranfield School of Management)
Each of these roles has a specific need, and each buyer has a personal motivation. Added to the complexity, a buyer can hold more than one role.
Personal motivations could be: Kudos, Positioning, Promotion, Money saving, Time saving, Innovation, Strategic partnership, Rugby, Power, Influence, Control, Differentiation, Exit strategy, Competitive advantage.
The success of the individuals within the DMU depends on the supplier successfully delivering the needs and fulfilling the buyer’s personal motivations.
3. Meet your customers motivational Needs
Delivering the buyers specific need where possible builds trust and develops a relationship.
If a buyer knows you are working hard on their behalf it bonds them to you, effort can take the place of a result. If you cannot fulfil the needs directly find indirect ways, be creative. It is important in building the relationship that you are open with the buyer about your level of commitment to meet their needs and honest about the limits of your abilities.
The customer knows that some of their requests are unreasonable, but your empathy and engagement is what builds the relationship. Creating a partnership is the goal so tuning into their needs, valuing their view and investing in their success builds trust.
4. Pitch the right solution to a specific need
Each buyer has a specific need, so only pitch to this specific need. There are some deal breakers and other ‘nice to have’ if you pitch all ‘nice to have’ requirements, you will not win this buyer over.
Research is king; your job is to:
• Decipher the data and make it into intelligent, targeted pitch.
• Deliver the specific needs and understand the personal motivations.
• Build the relationship into a trusted partnership.
To find out more about how you can improve your pitch sign-up for a Get it Sorted
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