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How To Market To Business To Business Customers

Marketing to business customers can be trickier. Business customers are usually well educated, trained to know what they want, highly directed by their budget and very used to comparing and contrasting products and vendors.

They are also very difficult to connect with because they often deliberately set up many barriers between themselves and vendors so that they can be in control of the process. Here are some tips gleaned along the way about how to crack the business nut.

Send email blasts very early in the morning. Unlike most consumers, business customers organize their day differently. Many business people get into the office to begin their day very early in the morning. This practice allows them to get organized and plow through some work before the rest of the staff arrive, the phones start ringing and the regular business day gets into gear.

They are very likely to check email at this very early hour. If you send your email blast very early or late at night for the next morning, you are more likely to catch the business customer before they are distracted by the rest of their day.

Keep web forms simple.

One B to B retailer reported that by not requiring the business customer to fill out all of the address information (which you can get from their website), they got a 19 percent increase in conversion rate.

Do not be gimmicky.

Several online retailers have discovered that if you add contests and other gimmicky attractions to your B to B site, you may lose business. It may be that business customers see through gimmicks and believe that they lower the company's credibility.

Education not promotion.

Business customers are willing to click through a website if you provide new and interesting information to them. Research has shown that business customers prefer industry news, interviews with executives within their industry and product and process innovation news.

Make the phone number highly visible.

Testing with business customers has shown that in many cases, the business customer is not willing to simply go online and buy, at least not the first time. They want to talk with a sales representative and sort through their company's specific issues. Be sure that your toll free telephone number is always displayed and invite your business customer to make a call and chat in person.

Revisit old leads.

Even if your business customer does not make a purchase the first time out, it makes sense to follow up and try again after an interval. The website SoftVu did a study that showed fifty eight to seventy six percent of old leads remain viable for a significant period of time after the initial contact. The typical sales team misses 600 to 800 aged leads for every 1,000 initial leads.

Marketing to business customers takes a different touch. They are smart, busy, make decisions analytically and seek the best information they can find. If you can help, you will get their business.

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