How to Engage with Valuable B2B Prospects
There is no denying that these days of digital information that ‘knowledge is power’. Whoever has the most information and knowledge can become powerful influencers and be seen to be experts in their field or industry sector.
But how can you engage with potential new B2B clients when you have valuable information to share? Especially if you are new on the scene and haven’t as yet built up a strong level of credibility with your peers?
Sending the right message at the right time
Engaging with your prospective B2B audience needs to be handled carefully. It isn’t difficult in the information age to reach out and connect with new prospectives, but what is difficult is holding their attention and making them want to come back for more.
With our current data and technology capabilities, we can plan sales and marketing strategies to connect with our prospects on a very deep level. We just need to know what the right message is to send to them.
The thing is that having more information doesn’t mean that you have the right kind of information for your prospect. You may also have a wealth of valuable information to share, but you approach your potential new B2B contacts at the wrong time.
When you take a look at the most competitive and successful sales teams, they are pretty good at understanding:
- What are the most meaningful things to them and how to connect your product or services to their needs
- When the best time is to contact them, such as knowing when they need what you are offering and their willingness to purchase
- Whom to target, as in which companies and which people inside those companies
Let’s take a closer look at these three areas to see how you can target your focus to hone these strategies.
What are their most meaningful things?
You need to figure out what is most meaningful to your potential new B2B partner. It is time to do a bit of homework by checking out their website and background information. Try to establish simple answers to these points:
- What are their long-term goals?
- What are their most common issues or pain points?
- Which of their problems would be solved with your product or service?
Being in possession of this knowledge about your prospective B2B client can really give your sales and marketing approach depth of meaning and a targeted purpose.
Your prospect will listen to your conversation and see it as a meaningful problem-solving solution. Without knowing what your prospective audience desires will make it nearly impossible to connect with them via a cold sales pitch or prospecting email.
Be genuine, honest and open
Reaching out to your prospective B2B audience has been made easy through modern technology, apps and social media platforms. However, you still need to handle the direct approach very carefully.
Cold calling tactics still don’t work. Without the right kind of targeted information, your approach will be seen as annoying or irritating by your prospectives. This can cause them to go cold on you even if you do have a product or offer a service that could be of benefit to them.
This can seriously end up damaging your business reputation and professional image. In most cases a prospect approached in the wrong way may never want to engage with you again, so that is a prospect lost for good.
By far the best way for a potential new prospect to see value in what you offer is to show them that you understand them. That you understand their business goals, their issues and their needs.
Give them something of value – for free
Just about anyone can look up information about a prospective B2B company and draw some something useful from it to help make a sale but to make an authentic connection with your target audience you need to be honest and genuinely helpful.
This may involve giving them something of value without expecting anything in return. This could be in the form of valuable information that can help them in some way. Doing this will set you apart from your competition and help you been seen in a positive light by your prospective B2B partners.
To forge meaningful relationships and to help build trust in your business, you need to contact the right person within a company at the right time and give them valuable advice, insights or offer of some free help with an issue.
For example, one of your target B2B companies may be preparing for a major business relocation. You own a business stationery company, so you could help them out greatly by providing them with some free ‘business change of address’ postcards.
Or you could give them a batch of bespoke design free business cards to hand out that contains their new company address and contact details.
A valuable and helpful free gift that will be received well and much appreciated!
Whom to Target within a company
As you should already know, using LinkedIn to find a good business contact within a company is a good idea.
If you are approaching a small business, then most likely you will be able to easily engage with the owner, the manager or someone with the authority to spend the company money. In which case, the time spent forging a strong relationship with them will be profitable.
However, if you have managed to engage with someone that works for the company, but doesn’t have any power to make business purchases or buying decisions, then you need to do two things:
- Establish that the company does have a real need for your product or service
- Use your contact to connect you with someone in the company that does hold the purse-strings
Should you find that the company is not in need of what you offer then it isn’t worth your time chasing up false leads. In which case you should move on to researching for more viable prospects.
If you know that your prospective company is in need of what you are offering, then you should concentrate on strengthening your relationship with your existing contact there and encourage them to introduce you to the person that has got buying power.
Leverage your existing relationships but don’t abandon your friends
A personal recommendation from their own member of staff works so much better than you trying to switch your focus to someone else in the company on your own. Try to keep everyone happy and engaged here – never abandon your original contact for your more lucrative one for the sake of money.
You are going to be far more successful when you work on building and expanding your business network of contacts rather than switching your focus and dropping people as you go along. You never know what doors your extended network will open up for you in the future.
When is the right time to contact the company?
This is probably the most difficult aspect to work out. When exactly is the right time to reach out and contact a prospective B2B company with your information? When you think that most businesses will be inundated with sales emails on a daily basis, all trying to grab the attention of the person who holds the company purse strings, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.
According to most sales research conducted over the years, nearly 80% of business deals are given to the salesperson who is first to deliver both insight and value. This doesn’t mean that you need to be the first email they see in their inbox, just the first to offer genuine value at a time when they need it and are actively looking for it!
Get to know their buying cycle
You should do your company research very well, right down to studying when they are most likely to be buying in products or services.
If you can time your approach to when they are actively buying then you can be the first they reach out to if you are offering what they want.
Look out for clues such as a business relocation or expansion, a new product launch, a merger or company takeover, anything that is on the horizon that involves a major shift within the company and its operations.
Should you be targeting a company that manufactures a product and you want to supply them with any essential components, then check to see if they buy their product parts in on a continuous basis, say once per month, or if they buy in bulk two or three times per year.
Be there ready with your offer for their next round of buying in products parts and make sure that you can fulfil their needs quickly and efficiently.
Take your B2B business seriously if you want your partners to!
If it is your intention to trade with other B2B companies then you will find that many will not actively engage with a business that is not registered as an official Limited Company.
There are many advantages to going through the company formations process and registering your business as a Limited Company with Companies House. One of the most favourable reasons for anyone working in the B2B sector is that you are more likely to be taken seriously by your peers when you run as a limited company.
You could have the most brilliant sales and marketing strategies in place, but many businesses will not even let you get a foot in the door unless they know they are dealing with another Limited Company.
Other than for this trading advantage, there are many more good reasons to form your own company. For example:
- Paying less tax: You are much more likely to pay less personal tax as a Limited Company than as a sole trader. Corporation Tax rates are particularly favourable in the UK and are only set to get better!
- Your company is a distinct entity: You can separate yourself and your personal assets from those of your company. Everything that is in the company name is company business and separate from your personal interests.
- Limited liability: As a limited company you will be covered by ‘limited liability‘. This means that you will not be personally held liable for any financial losses made by the company.
- A more professional image: As detailed above, many companies will not deal with sole traders.
- Funding and finance: As a limited company you will find it easier to source funding for your business and often at better rates than can be secured by a sole trader.
- Protected trading name: Your company name will be registered with Companies House and no one else will be able to trade under your business name.
- You can issue shares: You can sell shares in your company to help raise money to invest in and expand your business.
- Pension contributions: As a limited company you will be able to fund your executive pensions and claim them as a legitimate business expense. You cannot do this if you are self-employed.
How to Set Up a Limited Company
Setting up your own Limited Company is really easy when you use a company formations service such as ours.
With our expert help, we can have your new Limited Company up and running usually within one working day! Get B2B Marketing tips Today
Take a look at our range of company formations packages to find one that is suitable for your needs. If you are unsure about which sort of Limited Company package you should choose, then do not hesitate to contact our friendly team who will be pleased to offer plenty of help and advice.