B2B and B2C: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

    By Dale Furtwengler | Small Business

    Recently someone said “I wish you worked in the business to business (B2B) arena.”  When I responded that B2B is the majority of my business, he said “Then why do you write so much about retail?”  The answer is…

    …because retail examples are more visible.

    Same results

    The results that B2B and B2C sellers create are very similar.  They may use slightly different language to describe them (B2B talk about results where B2C talk about customer experience), but the concepts are interchangeable.

    If you produce a great result in the B2B environment, your customer will have a great experience.  If your B2C customer has a great experience it’s because he/she got the desired result.

    Same benefits

    In reality there are only three things that any of us sell:

    1. Image
    2. Innovation
    3. Time savings (convenience)

    Any benefit we claim to provide will fit into one of those three categories.  That’s true whether we’re selling B2B or B2C.

    Same pricing mistakes

    The pricing mistakes made are the same for both B2B and B2C.  We:

    • Lower the price without getting a concession from the buyer.
    • Discount during peak selling season.
    • Focus on market share instead of our customers needs/desires.
    • Create ill-conceived sales compensation programs.
    • Fail to create an accurate profile of our ideal customer.
    • Talk about what we do instead of what the customer will get.
    • Fail to develop a clear brand promise.
    • Communicate benefits, but not the dollar/cent value of those benefits.

    Hopefully, these stark similarities between B2B and B2C will help you get more out of future blog posts regardless of whether I’m using a B2B or B2C example.  My apologies for not having made this more clear earlier.

    P.S. If you really want to WOW your peers and boss, train your mind to similarities between B2B and B2C so that you can port ideas from one arena to the other.  You’ll stand out from the crowd in ways that make let your genius show through.

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