Most B2B purchases are not impulsive in nature, until and unless they are really low value or for some reason are whimsical in nature.
The advantage of doing B2B business is that because its not impulsive, if you do a good job then most often, you end up staying with that customer for a long time.
One reason for this way of things is the inertia in the procurement department, the other is the cost of doing re-evaluation of vendors so until and unless its something which is periodic in nature, procurement departments don’t want to upset the “apple-cart”. If you are the incumbent, then this is good news.
If you are the outsider, then its bad news, because you have to wait a long time to even get entry – if at all into the account. In B2B accounts you have to have a lot of what Dean Graziosi calls “Marketing Stamina” to keep pounding on the doors of your so called prospects.
What helps though is if you have a small niche to focus on. Then you can concentrate your energies and work with what Dean Jackson calls the “inevitability concept”, which is basically saying that over a 2 year period or 3 year period, some incumbents will make a large enough mistake for the customer want to check you out.
Now this wont happen if you are not in front of the customer on a regular basis with some story which drives what Robin Robins calls “the wedge” into the customer’s existing set-up, so that when the wedge is deep enough the customer feels immense pain and calls you. The dissonance that you create should be large enough for the customer to feel a material impact.
It however needs to be understood that if you have 100 possible customers in your niche, then over a two-three year period you may end up picking up maybe 10 of these. What you then need to keep working on is how can you get these 10 to refer you more clients.
In B2B or for that matter in all kinds of customers a “referred” customer is always a better customer to have both from profitability point of view as well as long term engagement.
If you can keep increasing the share of the customer’s wallet on a regular basis and also get referred then you can have terrific growth.
Till next time then.