Tips for making online B2B communications less stiff, more human -- and more persuasive.
You sell business-to-business (B2B). Whether you sell paper clips or a highly complex, high-dollar solution, you must reach out to a decision maker. These elusive decision makers hold your transaction's fate in their hands. And contrary to popular practice, selling B2B isn't a mechanical, unemotional, linear, logical process.
To reach out and persuade decision makers, remember: decision makers are people. Treat them that way. Sell them that way.
They have identifiable motives, needs, and preferences. They have hopes, dreams, and goals. Their buying habits as consumers compared with their buying preferences as business decision makers may not be as different as you think.
Here are a few practical tips for making your B2B online communication efforts less stiff, more human, and a lot more persuasive.
Ask Three Essential Questions
There are three essential questions to ask regarding every page on your site:
Whom Must You Persuade?
Business decision makers fall into one of four preference categories:
No one truly fits completely into a mold. Yet there are established behavior patterns; when we make decisions, we typically strongly favor one of the above styles.
What Actions Must They Take?
When a business person lands on a page, she can take one of a handful of actions: bail; participate in a form (usually a conversion); or click. There are two types of links: action and points of resolution.
Evaluate each page's content against the preferences of the decision maker types. Determine which link each decision maker will follow or if there's no clear action for a specific decision maker.
How Will You Persuade Them?
Some Web pages and hyperlinks can be used to help decision makers purchase their way:
Benefits First, Features Second
When you sell anything, to other businesses or to consumers, lead with the benefits that are relevant to the buyers. They're not interested in product features until they're convinced that product is relevant.
Meet Bryan at Search Engine Strategies in Toronto, Canada, May 4-5, 2005.
Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco (August 10-12)!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda offers 9 tracks to cover every aspect of digital marketing. Join over 500 digital marketers and expert speakers from leading brands. Register today!
Bryan Eisenberg is co-founder and chief marketing officer (CMO) of IdealSpot. He is co-author of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times best-selling books Call to Action, Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?, and Always Be Testing, and Buyer Legends. Bryan is a keynote speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as Gultaggen, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others for the past 10 years. Bryan was named a winner of the Marketing Edge's Rising Stars Awards, recognized by eConsultancy members as one of the top 10 User Experience Gurus, selected as one of the inaugural iMedia Top 25 Marketers, and has been recognized as most influential in PPC, Social Selling, OmniChannel Retail. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of several venture capital backed companies such as Sightly, UserTesting, Monetate, ChatID, Nomi, and BazaarVoice. He works with his co-author and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at BryanEisenberg.com.
US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.
E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.