If you are just starting off in the B2B space, you may be wondering how you should go about gaining a strong and loyal client base. It isn’t too different from attracting a B2C client, with some slight alterations unique to business transactions. The key to gaining customer loyalty is all in building a relationship based on trust. Your client wants to trust that they will be getting the products they were promised in the amount of time that was agreed upon. If you continue to provide reliability to your clients, they will trust you with their business needs. 

Any good relationship begins at the start- when you first attract your client to your brand. Marketing and content aside, if you are reaching out to a prospective client via cold calling or cold emailing, it’s best to do your research beforehand. An email or phone call conversation should be as personalized as possible, even from the first initiation. Check out the business’s websites or social media accounts. Determine what’s the best angle to take to present your brand to this business. This will also help you not to waste time focusing on potential clients that may not be a good fit for you. If they don’t seem to have a budget for your products or maybe seem to not have use for the products you sell, you don’t need to waste valuable time trying to make a sale with them in particular. This time can be used for more productive and important tasks such as going after potential clients who are likely to become loyal customers.

Once contact has been made with a qualified lead it’s important to take note of the information they give you. Listening should be more important than talking in this situation. You should ask the potential buyer every question you can. You should find out what their pain points are and what the most important aspects of the sale are. Be aware of their budget and try and figure out which products would be best for them. This can help you to prepare a strategy for how your product should be displayed in a way that addresses the potential client’s needs. Even if your product does meet the needs of a B2B buyer, there’s always another B2B merchant selling a similar product who is just as available to the buyer as you are. You need to develop a tactic to set yourself apart from the competition. Remain aware of new trends in the B2B market and research what tactic other successful companies are doing. There are many things your business can do to remain ahead of the curve.

Another important way to ensure you remain successful in B2B sales (or in any sales) is to keep all members of your company on the same page in terms of goals and in terms of being equipped with product/industry knowledge. Sales reps in particular should be fully capable of answering any questions your potential buyers may have. They should be well- versed in the features and functions of your products as well as the experience that other clients have had with it. A potential buyer will be curious to know how your product has benefited companies in the relevant industry, and it’s essential that they can be properly informed. They should also have the ability to tailor each sales pitch to specific clients based on what their needs are. 

Having a well versed sales rep explain the benefits of your products to a client is a perfect example of having your content framed in the right way. Your products can be the best out there, but if the features are not properly presented to buyers, they will never perceive them to be something that will benefit them. The same goes for the way the imagery of products are presented on your ecommerce site. High-res product images and detailed product descriptions make all the difference to a client searching for a quality product. You should have a website that provides customers with an optimal B2B experience. You want to make sure that your first impression with a potential client is a good one, and for B2B merchants, that first impression is your website. When a potential buyer enters our site you want to provide them with an optimal user experience, easy navigation, and the functionalities needed for them to browse your products and place orders with ease. Luckily, the Magento platform comes with many built in features to enable you to do this.

Even though it is in fact important that you present your products in the best light possible, B2B sales strategy is actually more customer-focused than product-focused. Companies are more likely to buy from companies that they trust want to help them succeed. Demonstrate understanding with your customers. With all of the research you have done, it should be easy to put yourself in their shoes and make it known to them that you are on their side. Let it be clear that their success is your success and that having them as a consumer will be beneficial to all involved. Just like you want a person who is patient, empathetic, and understanding of your needs when you meet someone in life- the same goes for business. You are building a relationship and level of trust that will help you to keep this person as a loyal customer. 

Teach them all that you know about how they can utilize your products to better and grow their business. In addition, you should offer help or advice to help them manage their business such as friendly general tips, books, blogs, or online courses. Sometimes, if a customer is on the fence about where to purchase their products from, this kind of friendly gesture is the kind of persuasion they need to choose you. Other small gestures such as offering a free demo of your product may have the same effect. It’s important not to put too much pressure on the buyer as it may suggest your interests aren’t aligned with their own. 

Another reason not to push customers into purchasing your products before they’re ready is that while maximizing your number of customers is great, there are such things as bad customers. Pushing clients into buying products that you know aren’t a good fit for them sometimes leads to bad reviews and tarnishing of your company’s reputation.

Lastly, just like you want your customers to be loyal to you, it is important that you provide the same loyalty in return. Build relationships based on consistency and loyalty by ensuring that you do not disappoint your clients. If an order is confirmed, make sure that order is received in the way that it was requested. Providing your clients with inconsistent service due to disorganization or anything else is just not acceptable and will not lead to a lasting relationship between yourself and the client. 

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