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Selling in a B2B Market

When you get to small and mid sized businesses and Fortune 1000s, you’re out. You’re done. Totally different game in terms of what works for them. So we will talk about that for a second. It ain’t a one size fits all world. So I want to just touch on the blatant differences here. So you can see on the bottom here. We’ll start with the bad news then we will get to the good news.  So the bad news is buying has become a team sport. But selling typically been an individual sport or a team sport. But we are typically having a buyer make a decision about the transaction and move forward. Now that is still true at certain price points. When we get to larger scale offerings, lets say north of 200 thousand, 250 at that level, it is a team sport. Why is that a team sport? Let’s look at LightSpeed, for example, if I fall in love with somebody’s content in here. And they come to me and I’m a Fortune 1000 buyer, and they say “Wow! That was awesome! I’ve got 2000 people blah, blah blah.” Who am I selling it to? Well you’re probably selling it to a training person or a business leader. Now, hold on. There a technology piece to LightSpeed. Ut Oh! Let me get the CTO in here. Wait. Your dealing with data. Ut Oh! Let me get Regulatory in here. Ut Oh! We’ve got other things that HR is doing. Get HR in here. The next thing you know, you gotta sell to all these people. Not one of them individual can say yes and sign the check. But each one has veto power. So this is sort of like The View or America’s  Got Talent with the buzzers. Bad Stuff.

Right? So you got to be able to understand and satisfy all their needs. And if you don’t fee comfortable satisfying the need of a technology person or a compliance person, or a learning person, figure it out. You’re going to  either have to get some help figuring it out. Because you will strike out. And those numbers are going up. They went up from 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 people. That’s a lot of people. The days of the client out to the 3 martini lunch and getting the deal on the back 9 or the golf course, well, the back nine would be the golf course. Or the back 9 on the golf course. Pretty much over at scale. Pretty much over.

So in B2B, they have budget cycles. Here’s the good news. Right. They have predetermined amounts of money to spend on you and stuff like you. Do you know what those cycles are? We are dealing with a client right now where based on the seasonality of the market that he is into, there’s a big problem that a lot of his clients and people that look like his clients have. They’ve got a spend a ton of money before October 30th. #good problem. Right? So what are we doing? We’re  pounding the hell out of these clients. Going “Hey! We know this is the time of year there’s a little bit extra sitting on the budget here. Here’s some cool stuff we got. Are you interested?” “Oh great! can we park some money here and you don’t deliver it until next year. Yeah we’re really good like that. Yeah, we’re customer-centric. Will let you do that. Right?”

The decisions are made by groups. We talked about that. It takes time. If you’re used to a transactional based sale, speaking. That is a short game. Large scale sales take six months. They can take 12 months. They can take 18 months. So I’m not suggesting that you just flip a binary switch and say I’m going all into the big clients because you’ve got to feed your pipeline and you’ve got to eat in the interim. But you have to layer this on to what you’re doing. And you have to develop a pipeline that is in 6 months from now, 12 months from now, 18 months from now, I want to sell my first 100 thousand dollar deal. I want to sell my second. How do you do that? You have to be able to build that up.

On the B2C side, obviously, it is a fast cycle. I mean  literally some of the tactics I saw today is so impulsive. I mean it is literally people surfing the web, clicking, boom boom boom bio-metrics. I don’t have to take my card out. That’s an antiquated gesture now. It’s got my thumbprint and it goes right to Apple Pay. It’s emotional. Not that aren’t emotions in the B2B world but they’re tempered, less so than oh my god, you know, so many in the back of a Grant Cardone event that can’t wait to throw money at the stage. It’s impulsive. Most people in the consumer world, if they sort of sobered up three days later and bought that in a very deliberate way probably wouldn’t have made that same decision. Right? And this whole back of the room cycle. There’s a lot of stuff that works there. It’s not valid on the corporate side.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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