Company leaders are often under a deluge by profit-hungry vendors charging way more than what their product or service is worth. Here’s how to stand out from the crowd and dominate in the B2B marketplace.
This one simple thing will make you stand out from the crowd. It’s incredible that there could be a lack of integrity or honesty in business, but it is common in many industries. Companies tend to think that improving the bottom line is all that counts. That squeezing the customer for all the money they can is the best way to maximize profits.
Show your customers a different kind of company. A company that charges a fair price for its products or services and you’ll find that you can make up for the lower prices with volume sales.
Have Excellent Customer Service
Customer service is another area that’s lacking in most companies. Customer service is a low-paying job because upper management can’t see how it adds money or value to the company. This comes from traditional “balance sheet” thinking in which only actions that directly result in profit are seen as valuable.
Everything else is an expense that needs to be minimized.
And, customer service is very expensive to staff and maintain. So, companies tend to do what they think is best: minimize those costs.
In practice, it means striving for a high customer turnover rate (e.g. getting customers off the phone fast) and staffing departments with minimum-wage employees.
Be different. Adopt an approach similar to Zappos and Amazon. Try to have a meaningful dialog with your customers. Spend time with them on the phone. Find out what their real problems are and see if you can solve them.
That doesn’t mean you have to adopt the cliched approach that says the customer is always right. But, you should adopt the attitude that the customer is always worth listening to because that’s ultimately how you gain and keep their loyalty.
Even if you can’t completely solve a problem, or if it takes you multiple tries, merely putting the effort into a problem is enough for most customers. It’s when they think that you don’t care that they turn on you and start chasing your competitors.
Serve A Global Audience
A lot of businesses are on the Internet, but not a lot of companies are truly “global.” Use a service like Translate By Humans to get your website translated into multiple languages so you can spread out your operation and do business in other countries.
Then, you won’t necessarily have to compete in a crowded industry. You can go where there simply aren’t as many fish in the pond, so to speak.
Build An Audience That Loves You
Building an audience that loves you first, before you sell, is much easier than trying to do things the old way. Prospecting, cold calling, and straight up sales pitches aren’t sustainable sales strategies. At best, they get the low-hanging fruit – the people who would buy anyway.
Some of these companies will be serial buyers with no real loyalty to you or anyone else. The second someone else offers a lower price, they’re gone.
So, work on educating prospects, turning off impulse and serial buyers, and building an audience that wants to buy from you because they like you more than the competition. Even business owners want to do business with other companies that they know, like, and trust.
Cultivate a Positive Culture
There are a lot of toxic company cultures out there right now. Companies that don’t care about customers. Management that’s willing to lie to make the sale. Some of these companies are so transparent about it that it’s obvious before the sale. So, why are they so successful? Because, in some industries, there’s no other choice.
Be that other choice.
Educate, Don’t Market
Most companies are stuck on hard-nosed marketing. They’re trying to browbeat their customers into buying using old school marketing gimmicks. You don’t have to be that way. You can choose to instead educate your prospects.
Tell customer success stories that inspire them. Make them fall in love with your brand because you give them real value instead of just another sales pitch. You know you’re doing it right when your customers don’t feel any sales pressure at all.
In fact, your sales letters and sales material shouldn’t really have to push people into a sale at all. It should merely guide them toward making a decision based on features and benefits and use a simple “call to action” or “reason to believe” the product you’re offering is right for them.