The online timeline – getting your facts straight
The first stage for a typical B2B buyer is researching suppliers (this applies to video buyers too).
Buying research can be a lengthy process, especially for a big spend or a new service you need.
You are not going to trust a chunk of marketing or training budget to any old Joe.
Let’s say a buyer is looking to shortlist four potential suppliers.
For each supplier, there will be 2-6 visits to their website.
By this back-and-forth comparison process, the buyer gets a better idea of what ‘good’ looks like.
Further visits clarify emerging issues: do they have relevant industry experience, what is the quality of their previous work, have they handled similar size contracts, can they work abroad and that intangible, ‘will I be able to work with them?’
This careful, deliberate process can take two weeks, a month, even six weeks.
It’s thinking time, silent evaluation. Gestating, getting the essential facts at your disposal.
What you don’t need at this time is … a rep calling.
Is face-to-face selling and phone canvassing dead?
Once upon a time, salespeople called as a matter of course, or phoned to secure an appointment. Asking you to commit.
Today that seems just a bit random and a waste of a buyer’s time.
Busy managers rarely accept calls without a very good reason.
What is not a good reason is when someone’s information is irrelevant.
They may talk about the wrong thing at the wrong time, the right thing at the wrong time or the wrong thing at the right time. Either way, the answer is ‘not today, thank you’.
Does email work as a first point of contact?
A Marketing Director friend arrives every morning to find 150-200 new inbox emails.
How they find him, I shudder to think.
Ninety five percent remain unopened. Finding those that do need attending to has become like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Those that are opened go into Promotional, Social or Essential or whatever other segments Gmail offers to lighten the load. They are not lost, but they are quickly forgotten.
The rest are deleted, or flagged as spam.
So email is not the route to a Buyer’s heart.
Did you know that Buyers don’t read?
No curling up round a good brochure, then.
Where B2B buyers do go to find stuff is … websites.
Ironically, they don’t read there much either.
What they will do, however, is watch a good movie. Especially when it’s right bang in front of them on the homepage.
A minute or two of video gives a buyer what they want to know. It’s factual, fast and relevant and enables them to form a first opinion.
And it can be paused or rewound at any time to reflect on and ruminate.
“Hmm, did Company D offer that many options?” “Did company B have a 24 month guarantee?” “Was company C able to operate in the Middle East?”
And if the video is really well made, it’s no contest. “I like the look of this company. They look top quality. And their price is reasonable.”
Nowadays, for business-to business buyers, quality is always primary, price always secondary.
Quality is a many-sided standard, which you can showcase in a step-by-step sequence.
Video can show off your best qualities and move you right up any buyers list.
What are your great qualities? Let us know and we’ll make a video together about them.