Trust is everything in the B2B world. Businesses are naturally weary when they are being sold to because they know their industries and they are never going to invest in something that they have bought on impulse. Generating B2B leads is more about gathering intelligence and building trust than it is about traditional selling.
This article is going to focus on how to acquire trust so your startup can begin to develop its first leads without breaking the bank.
Share Real Success Stories
Social proof is the number one tool in the art of persuasion for B2B sellers. No business wants to become a guinea pig for a product or service. They are naturally conservative and want to use something that’s tried and tested. You should concentrate on creating media packs that demonstrate how well your product has worked for others. It’s a type of content marketing people don’t consider.
But make sure that these success stories aren’t exaggerated or lack feeling. There’s a real problem with cheesy testimonials that are quite clearly a work of fiction. Businesses are wary, so make sure that any prospect can get in touch with your client to confirm that their feelings are genuine.
This is becoming an increasingly popular tactic. One survey said that 54% of B2B marketers rated sharing unbiased success stories as ‘extremely effective’.
Furthermore, if you can begin crafting success stories now it’s going to do wonders for protecting your digital reputation. Go out of your way to publish these stories in the public domain. That way prospects will go out of their way to hunt you down.
Never Make Guarantees
The easiest way to lose the trust of your prospects is to make guarantees on ROI. When you make guarantees you are going to sound like a thousand vendors that have come before. Anyone who has been in business for a long time is well aware that you can never guarantee the success of anything.
There’s never a 100% chance that something is going to work out in a specific way. You should make it clear to your prospects that most clients have experienced positive results, but there are never any guarantees.
It may seem like you are putting yourself down, but what you are really doing is making yourself into an object of trust. People can trust you because you are being completely honest with them, and they can see that.
Rather than focusing on guarantees, concentrate on making your process transparent. Allow potential leads to make their own choices.
Don’t Engage in the Race to the Bottom
Did you know that most studies say that price is not a prime consideration for B2B buyers?
It’s true, and yet this is something that B2B sellers still fail to understand. They still haven’t grasped the fact that B2B buyers don’t care nearly as much about price as they do about other factors. In fact, B2B sales tend to work in the exact opposite manner. If something is particularly cheap, people will turn away from it because they believe that there has to be something wrong.
Price your services based on what it’s actually worth not because you want to undercut your competitors.
Know your industry and find out about how certain products are viewed in the marketplace. Price based on similar products because those are the prices that people are most likely to accept. And over time you should be raising your prices not lowering them. In fact, we recently raised our prices 20% and it hasn't affected our sales volume.
Building Trust Requires Building a Relationship
To build trust you need to build a relationship. B2B sellers need to keep in mind that they have to be more patient than ever before. The chances are when you are speaking to your prospects they are not the only decision maker. Also, each decision maker is being inundated with content, offers, emails, social media, and ads. For these reasons, you may have to speak to a business for weeks or months before receiving a final decision.
If you are going to give up a few times after trying to net a sale, you are going to find your conversion rates to be low. On the other hand, taking the time to build a personal relationship and understand each buyer's needs is what will differentiate you beyond just your product advantages.
Last Word – Doing Your Best
Building trust, not selling, should be your priority. Selling is but a byproduct of a relationship where the other person has learned to trust you and your company. Building trust will allow you to succeed and, over time, you will get better and better at it. Then, your online reputation as a trustworthy company will spread.
How will you build trust with your target market today?