Unique Challenges of Business-to-Business Service Providers:
Being regarded as an
overhead - The service is not perceived as critical
to customers’ success.
On this page the challenge of business-to-business service
providers we shall look at is – being regarded
as an overhead, your service is not perceived as critical
to the customer’s success.
As a Sales Director or MD of a company, I may from time
it time think I want sales training, more advertising
or a PR campaign, as I believe these are investments
that will increase my turnover. However, as the Financial
Director or MD, I don’t really want to spend money
on computer maintenance or contract cleaning services.
They’re overheads and I want to keep them to a
minimum; once I have them, I don’t really want
to spend time talking with people wanting to replace
my existing provider (unless they have badly let me down).
To be more successful at winning new business, the timing
of your marketing or sales approach becomes more important.
It goes without saying that if contracts are typically
annual ones, you need to find out when the prospect will
next start looking at their renewal options. If it’s
more a case of being there at the right time when problems
have arisen, then more frequent and regular contact is
required. I remember a salesman regularly calling in
on us over an extended period, waiting for the time we
required his services. We eventually did and shortly
after that we employed him ourselves – he proved
to be an excellent salesman.
If you’re undertaking regular marketing, how can
you change people’s perceptions of the service
you provide, to make them see that it’s more critical
to their business than they thought – focusing
them on the costs of getting things wrong and the positive
benefits of hiring the right service partner. Can you
give any real client examples? Think who is the real
decision maker you should be targeting. It’s often
not the person currently buying, or indeed directly using
the service – things of a more critical nature
tend to be higher up the “food chain”. When
you get the opportunity to speak to prospects, find out
what they like about their existing provider and what
else they would like to make the service even better.
My challenge to all service providers this month is
to come up with three distinct reasons why prospects
and clients should see your service as more critical
to their business. If you can’t think of any, it
might be a good opportunity to expand your service offering
to provide some.
If you would like to transform your business, then please tell me a little bit about
you and your business by completing this brief questionnaire. My assistant
will then telephone you to arrange a convenient time for an exploratory consultation call, to see
whether we would like to work together.