B2B Selling Made Absurdly Simple

Last Updated Jul 28, 2010 8:47 AM EDT

B2B selling isn't complicated. In fact, it's easier that B2C selling. Why? Customers aren't spending their own money, are buying out of need not vanity, understand the basic rules of doing business. With that in mind, here's how to sell B2B... in five absurdly easy-to-understand steps:
  • STEP #1. Discover where your prospect is today. Use the Internet or business contacts find out where the prospect is today, what's going on with their business, where they're having problems, how happy they are with the products they're currently using, how they currently do things. When you initially meet, ask open-ended questions to obtain information that fills in the details.
  • STEP #2. Discover where your customer wants to be. After you've got a solid picture of where the prospect is today, gradually transition the customer conversation to asking questions about their vision for the future, what would it be like in a perfect world, what's worked so far, what could work better, how the contact would feel if that problem were solved, etc.
  • STEP #3. Show how to get from current situation to the desired one. Based upon what you've learned in steps 1 and 2, craft a a solution that can help the customer make the transition to where they want to be. Present only those elements of your products and services that are part of that tightly-focused solution.
  • STEP #4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 with multiple contacts. For each customer contact, discover that perspective and position your solution so that each person involved views the solution as crucial to his or her long-term business success. As the sales process continues, your solution will increasingly and widely perceived as being of great value to the customer's firm.
  • STEP #5. Close the deal. If you followed the four steps above, you have already positioned yourself to close the deal. All you need do now is ask for the business, at the right time, and with the right people in the room.
Simple, eh?

BTW, the above is based on a conversation with Bill Stinnett, author of Selling Results (McGraw Hill, 2006).

READERS: What do you think? Did Bill miss anything?