Many companies in the B2B space rely on lists of benefits to sell their products and services, but creating a real connection with your buyer requires a lot more than that. After years of seeing what works in marketing and what doesn’t, I’ve found there are two critical elements to successful B2B connections.
1. Be your buyer.
It’s easy to assume you know your target decision-makers, especially if your business has been around for a few years. But do you know what, specifically, motivates their purchase decisions? Do you know what keeps them up at night? Are they afraid of noncompliance fines, exceeding their budget or potential career setbacks? Is purchasing your offering a career decision, or just another line item? What type of incentive would persuade your buyer to take action? The answers to these questions — found through research, customer interviews and surveys — will help your communications connect with the buyer.
2. Be timely.
Once you know your target audience, it’s critical to understand where each buyer is in the sales funnel. Have they only just begun considering their options, or are they close to making the final purchase? You’ll need to communicate accordingly, and help them take the next step forward. If they’re early in the process, follow up every few months to remind them of your offering. Regular communications are essential when nurturing sales leads.
When you know your buyer’s real motivations and where they are in the sales funnel, you can develop creative communications that truly resonate. Here’s how:
- Write in your buyer’s language. A sure way to connect with your buyer is through a message in their voice. Use their vocabulary to address specific pain points. For example, don’t use C-suite terminology when you’re targeting a plant floor manager, and vice versa. And don’t bother spelling out an industry term or association name if everyone uses the acronym or abbreviation. Simple things like these will tell your buyer you understand them.
- Use images from your buyer’s world. The imagery that accompanies your message helps establish a connection. When showing a typical application of your offering, be sure the image is appropriate for your buyer — meaning, the image should represent their industry and geographical location, as applicable. And when showing people on the job, be sure they look like realistic. Consider the appropriateness of the people’s clothes, props and safety gear. This way, your buyer can imagine themselves as part of the scene you’re creating for them.
- Develop appropriate calls to action. Your calls to action should feel like a logical next step to your prospects. Depending on where your buyer is in the sales funnel, you might ask them to visit a landing page for more information, get a quote or set up a meeting with you. Offer an incentive, if appropriate, that appeals to your buyer, whether it’s a small gift card or a chance to win a large prize.
When you make the effort to be your buyer and be timely in your communications, you’ll be able to connect with your audience — and persuade them to take the next step down the sales funnel.