How to be a great B2B communicator – 5 Tactics

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One of the critical distinctions of doing successful B2B versus B2C communications is understanding your customers.

As B2B communicators, one of our basic mantras is to know who the end-users of our products and services are in the marketplace. Therefore, all of our strategies and tactical outputs should focus on communicating our messages and delivering our brand promise to end-users. Whether you sell consumer goods or technology services, you need to recognize your customers’ wants and needs. That is a value-add from our efforts to our companies and clients.

What makes B2B customers different?

Here are five distinctions I see of B2B vs B2C customers

  1. Customers in the B2B space typically have longer purchasing cycles. So instead of purchasing your products or services in a day or week, it may take weeks or even months. This presents excellent opportunities to drive home our messages and value proposition. Still, at the same time, it allows your competitors to do the same. So the focus during this time now becomes building trust and differentiating our brand against our competition.
  2. Customers in the B2B space often buy from our competition and compete with our other customers. In our communications, we need to emphasize that we have to treat our products and services individually to each customer to build trust, loyalty and deliver on their needs. Remember, it is a long purchasing cycle, and over time you can build strong loyalty or lose it all.
  3. Both B2C and B2B customers are interested in customer service. The difference is that B2B customer service begins well before any sale is ever made or even considered. From a communicator’s standpoint, we need to build our winning argument with case studies/references and third-party endorsements during this time.These “outside influencers,” such as industry analysts, become a key component of our efforts to build trust with potential buyers. Finding the people outside your company that matter to our customers is always an ongoing initiative.
  4. A B2B customer is typically more sophisticated than a B2C customer and has a deep understanding of our products or services. Which means they also can be very skeptical. Since there already exists a great degree of knowledge or a high interest in learning about our offering, we must communicate in a way that talks specifically to them. This means you need to have a complete understanding of what your company does and what your customer needs.
  5. B2B customers buy your products because they will use them to help their company grow, become profitable, and stay competitive. This means you need to stay focused on communicating the value of your offering to them.They will not be entertained by funny animal mascots or snappy slogans. Instead, they want (need) a product or service to keep them competitive.