Only a generation or two ago the primary sales tools for B2B selling were a car and a telephone. Those great road warrior salespeople like my dad, got in the car and drove to their customers. Found a pay phone and called the orders into the “home office.” Now with a few clicks on a computer we can connect with almost anyone anywhere. But the fundamentals of B2B selling still hold: attitude, behavior and knowledge. Let’s look at how the fundamentals work today.
Great salespeople know success depends on who you know. In the past we met in person whether one-on-one or in events. We shook hands, introduced ourselves and made arrangements to meet to share more information. Now we are isolated. Man, I don’t know about you but I really miss the personal interaction of sharing a meal or cup of coffee or just sitting together and discussing the world. So how do great salespeople now do B2B selling in this virtual world?
All the fundamentals are still in play. What’s your purpose in meeting? How does that benefit the buyer? What’s your attitude? Do you still have a passionate interest in helping the buyer? Is your persona inviting to others? We can still discuss March Madness either by phone or video call. We can still build the relationship with the buyer. And most importantly we still can plan and deliver quality sales calls. Even from the comfort of our own couch.
B2B Selling Depends On Customer Knowledge
When my dad was looking for information about his customers about the only way he had to gain it was talking to them. Maybe his company tracked the industry trends or he read an article about their company. Now with a few clicks on a device we can find out all about a prospect. So what do great salespeople do with all this customer knowledge? Well with knowing all about the customer it’s easy to put the customer first. And since the first B2B selling transaction was made, all great salespeople know understanding the buyer is paramount.
Today we have robust Customer Relationship Management systems. Every time anyone had a touch with the customer is available at the click of a mouse. So we have history of the customer relationship. Plus with the available information we get industry insight and what’s happening in the world of their business. Lots of knowledge is available. So what do we do with it? Great salespeople know the key to winning the sale is understanding the buyer. What are their needs and wants? How can you help them achieve their personal and corporate goals? When great salespeople share their knowledge with the buyer the relationship grows. And by focusing on satisfying the buyer’s needs they close the sale.
Collaborate And Encourage
B2B selling is not a solo act. Great salespeople know they don’t win business alone. They work with others to learn best practices. In group discussions they learn the lessons from successful sales pursuits and from the ones that failed. Before we did this in person. Sometimes around a conference table with coffee and pastries. Sometimes in the car driving to joint sales calls. Even enjoying the company of other successful salespeople at the bar.
Now we have to do this virtually. The enterprising techies among us have developed platforms now for doing networking. It’s not the same as in person but it’s what we have. And great salespeople are resilient. We take the environment we have and deal with it. The fundamentals are the same. We produce quality and informative digital content. When we see the posts of others and “like” and “share” them. Now we meet and collaborate virtually. And B2B selling is still a people business. We put our customers first. And we naturally gravitate towards others who are optimistic, caring and engaged. We strive to be likewise. We still maintain a large circle of B2B connections of customers and colleagues. Even in this virtual world where meeting in two dimensions is the best we can do we get and give encouragement.
What Can You Do Right Now
- Focus on building your network
- Maintain an uplifting persona
- Post quality information and support others’ posts
To learn more sales secrets see Chapter Six, Characteristics Of Successful Salespeople, in Secrets of the Softer Side of Selling. For even more sales encouragement, join our FREE Sales Club! “See” you next week.