12 Most Personal B2B Marketing Techniques
All selling is personal: people buy products and services that solve a problem or meet a need they have, and they buy them from people they like. If your business sells to other businesses rather than directly to consumers, get personal.
1. Get to know your customers
Find out what they like to do when they aren’t working — their hobbies, their kids, their pets. Let them talk about themselves. Pay attention and make notes to ask for updates.
2. Show off your customers’ work
Set up a place on your website, blog and Facebook page to feature great projects done for your customers. Tweet ’em out.
3. Forget your equipment
Nobody cares about your trucks, your printing press, your computer system, or your accounting software. They care about their projects and assume you have the tools you need.
4. Be charitable
People like to see that your company gives something back. Find a nonprofit organization whose mission relates to what you do. Better yet, let your customers pick the charity. Give money and time.
5. Put out the welcome mat
When a customer is visiting, put a personalized sign like “Welcome, Dan Smith!” out front and have Dan’s favorite coffee brewing. (See #1 above.)
6. Give truly personal gifts
Instead of buying 12 dozen coffee mugs to hand out, put some thought into a unique gift for each customer. It will mean ten times more than a generic ad specialty.
7. Send handwritten notes
People love to get them. They are getting rarer, so yours will really stand out. Mention something the two of you discussed recently, and/or enclose a little something.
8. Get a human to answer the phone
There’s nothing worse than having to drill down through 10 layers of recorded messages or getting stuck in voicemail hell. If you can’t afford a receptionist, get people in the office to take turns answering the phone for an hour each day.
9. Take down the roadblocks
It shouldn’t be hard for a customer to do business with you. If you force them to work within the narrow confines of your established systems, they may bail before the first sale.
10. Introduce customers to each other
Sometimes you’re not the one to solve a customer’s problem, but you know someone who can. Hook ‘em up and they’ll both appreciate it. Host an event where your customers can network with each other.
11. Proactively give referrals
Salespeople are (sometimes) good about asking for referrals. You can really “wow” your customers by asking them if there is anyone they’d like to meet. Who do you know that would be ideal customers for them?
12. Let your staff meet your customers
Too often, the only people customers meet are their sales reps and maybe a customer service person. Take the customer through the shop and let them meet some of the other people that work on their projects. It may make those other staff feel more connected and more responsible for outcomes.
Do all this and your customers will “stay sold.” Prospects will see that you care about your customers as people, about solving their problems and meeting their needs.
What personal touches do you use with your customers and prospects?
Featured image courtesy of geishaboy500 licensed via Creative Commons.