Conducting business to business (B2B) transactions can be a profitable extension to your existing business. The great thing about B2B sales is that they are less likely to return / cancel the product or service because it is a business expense. However, be sure to sell your business customer what he or she needs / wants vs. what you want to sell them. While it is less likely that they will return / cancel, there is the possibility that they will if they weren’t sold what they can use. Below are some tips on how to go about finding B2B prospects.
Finding Prospects – look at your existing customer base. If you collect information from your customers on their place of employment, not only can you determine if they would be eligible for discounts, but you can also talk with them about your products / services for their company. Asking your customer who would be the best person at their company to speak with, and getting that person’s contact information, can help begin the sales process.
Geographic Markets – Several opportunities exist within your geographic market, including your neighborhoods, community networks (such as the Chamber of Commerce), personal references from friends and family, and educational seminars just to name a few.
Industry-Based Markets – You can begin your prospect search by identifying an industry that you have existing contacts in, that you are already familiar with, and that has a strong presence in your area. Also, you can look at your local business networks, the yellow pages, and the local Chamber of Commerce.
Some tips for looking for prospects:
- Look for customers both inside and outside your store
- Market yourself and your business
- Make prospecting a scheduled, dedicated, continuous process
- Once you identify prospects, take action by making those first calls and visits
If your business is one that could benefit other businesses greatly, you may want to look into hiring someone specifically for B2B sales. This person would be able to dedicate their time and energy on these types of sales specifically while you focus on other areas of your business.
Do you currently promote B2B sales? Is your product or service one that could benefit other businesses?