Chris: Oh no, that’s O…
Matt: It’s hard to do a B… There we go.
Chris: Who’s going to do the 2?
Matt: The board is the 2.
Chris: Oh okay… B2B....
Matt: Anyway. B2B! It’s another Monkey Monday. I’m Matt.
Chris: I’m Chris.
Matt: So we’ve got 5 tips if you are a company who sells to businesses, generally. So obviously B2B is a vast world, but we’re just assuming that you make stuff, sell it to another company, who may turn that stuff to sell it to a customer. Doesn’t have to be that. These will apply across. So the first thing is expand your audience. One of the biggest mistakes we see B2B companies do is they talk directly to the customer that they’re trying to sell to. So, I dunno, if you’re selling computer parts, you’ll sell to the people who are putting those things together. So you might say, ‘Ooh, our things fit nicely into everything that you’re building,’ for instance.
However, it’s really important to understand the very very end user - so in that instance, Intel is a great example. Because what they did, really cleverly, is they marketed almost to the customer. And the customer created that level of demand. The Intel stickers that were on the outside of computers back in the day, that’s what drove some of that demand. So understanding the customers and creating marketing literature to those end users is a real key thing.
Chris: And that moves into number 2, which is engage with the end user. So you can speak to them, even if you’re not directly selling to them, which is another thing later on. But you can speak to them and have that engagement with them.
Matt: Yeah, and working with your partners, working with the companies that sit in between you and the customer, you can create conversations and what you really wanna do is find out what that end user cares about and create a message that resonates with them. So when you’re selling to - the direct sell to your customers, you really wanna be talking the language that they’ll be talking to sell to their customers, and you’ll get a much better overall result on that.
And to improve on that, you could even provide assets to them as well. So, I dunno, let’s pretend I’m Intel again and I dunno, you’re a company, you’re Amstrad.
Chris: Okay… That’s not a very good company but yeah. It’s fine. I can be Alan Sugar.
Matt: Be nice to me though, right? So what I could do is give you a load of literature, information, stickers to put on your computers, that explain what my product is. You can include it in your packaging, so that when the end customer gets their PC and they unwrap it, they have, ‘Oh, this has an Intel chip inside. What happens if there are any problems with it, how do I measure performance?’ The more you communicate through your partner and provide them the assets they need, the better your business is gonna grow and work.
Chris: Yeah and your branding is going to look consistent. If you can provide these assets, the other company isn’t going to be creating these from scratch, and doing something bad with your brand.
Matt: And let’s move away from that idea that I’m a business selling to a business selling to a consumer. This could work for a different type of industry. Perhaps I sell safety equipment or a scissor lift, or something like that, to a company who runs a warehouse. Now there’s no consumer in that, but there is an end user, somebody who’s using that scissor lift. So if they get all this information from me, the manufacturer of the scissor lift, they’re going to want to use me. If I do the safest scissor lifts and the fastest and easiest to drive, and I do all of that, then the end user’s going to care. They’re going to create that demand through the company who’s buying it, so it’s always worth bearing that in mind, providing assets to this end user here, the forklift driver or whoever - if they understand what your company’s about it will create demand from that end user.
Chris: And the next one is improve your technology.
Matt: Yeah so what you wanna do is make life easy in a B2B situation. So the most simple example of this I guess is your website. So have you created something that’s easy for big bulk ordering? Do you have tiered kinds of consumer that want to come in and just basically upload a spreadsheet, have that order fulfilled and make the process as easy as possible. There’s some great technology out there for B2B businesses to help the relationship with their OEM or whoever they’re dealing with.
Chris: And this last tip is slightly tricky ground sometimes, but could you be B2C?
Matt: Yeah, I think it’s always worth asking that question. It depends on your B2B model, but there could be opportunities now with all of the technology that’s out there to sell direct to the consumer. And, you know, it gives you more control over your whole brand and message. I dunno, perhaps you manufacture guitars, for instance. You don’t sell directly to the consumer but you sell to guitar shops - but you could sell directly online. You’ve just gotta tread carefully with that one.
Chris: Yeah, you could create a sub-brand to do it under.
Matt: Yeah, there are ways to do it, and there are opportunities out there, I think, for B2B businesses to grow by selling direct to the consumer. And that’s our five tips.
Chris: Nice one. High five for five tips.
Matt: Thanks. I’m gonna do the letter B again.
Chris: Go on then.
Chris: Is that a B?