I play a large number of rounds of golf with owners and executives of businesses. The majority of these business provide products and services to other businesses. Their approach to doing business is a little different than most business plans and generally involves the need to move a large volume of goods in the deals they make. Still, the B2B businesses are having the same basic problems as all of the other businesses are having in this economy. I find it shocking the attitude many of these people have about using anything innovative or new to help develop new business. Social Media is one of them they do not see as a tool that works for them.
B2B Social Media Works
The conversations I have after golf usually consist of how these business leaders need to develop more business and wondering how to move into larger markets. When I offer solutions based on using social media they usually turn their noses up as social networking not reaching the ‘kind of people’ they need to met to make a sale.
As I review with them how they go about finding the people they need to talk to I usually find a number of flaws in their business operations. When I ask how they overcome the challenges many of their processes have with reaching these person I am finding the way they go about networking to the people is not working anymore.
B2B Trust Building
I realize the sales pitch to a business is different than a pitch to a consumer. However, the attitudes with the businesses these companies are servicing is changing to more of a consumer view point. Businesses owners have developed the same lack of trust most consumers have with the marketplace. Yet, most of the B2B sales reps I am dealing with live in denial that trust is NOT a factor.
To the few who actually are interested in hearing about how social media has moved in to replace most marketing plans I usual get the standard remark..I did not know that!
Social Media is Changing B2B Marketing
B2B Social Media methods are a little different but the core processes are the same. Trust has to be established and in today’s changing market trust is built through providing ample content on who is managing the businesses. Seeing CEO’s blogging is not that unusual anymore. Not seeing an About Page or a Staff Page on a site, with photos, videos and plenty of content on who is running the show for these B2B companies, is becoming an oddity if not the kiss of death for that business.
Social Networking Generates Business Leads
Social media plays a huge roll in lead generation now. Social networking is moving quickly to business networking and belonging to niche communities is where B2B companies will have to have to be if they want to move to new markets.
Business Golf is a Great B2B Tool
Of course, I am bias to golf and how it plays a huge part in building trust between businesses. Many of these businesses are starting to come around to looking at innovative thinking and pulling back on aggressive ads to spending more time with potential clients. Surprisingly, Golf is starting to seep into their thinking as something they could use to build and show trust.
The business world is still a little upside down right now. Trust is a major issue but is the lever to get into business owners executives. Those who scoff Social Media’s worthiness are going to come up short in gaining further market exposure. Business people need to rethink their marketing strategies and move to showing why others should trust them. Believe me, it works.
Let me know how I can help.