B2C or Business to Consumer selling strategies for small business owners are of significant importance to your business. Sales manager jobs need to be developed to focus on a checklist for key sales activities and B2C marketing strategies.
B2C sales is particularly challenging due to the high level of competition in most markets and due to the changing needs and wants of buyers.
One primary difference between business to consumer selling and business to business selling is in the length of time it takes to complete the sales process.
B2C selling is typically a short sales cycle (and B2B is much longer).
Consumers are more apt (than businesses) to make buying decisions quickly; and sometimes even impulsively.
How do you sell to consumers and reach your small business sales objectives?
Selling to consumers often requires a larger sales force (often in a retail sales environment). To effectively develop and manage the sales group it's important to have the right sales management.
Develop sales staff descriptions, and particularly the responsibilities within sales manager jobs, to focus on using targeted B2C marketing strategies. Your business is dependent on a strong and effective strategy.
No matter what type of sales you are in; business to business or business to consumer - the most important action you need to take is to connect with your customers and build strong relationships built on your ability to communicate your unique value, your differentiation, and the features, advantages and benefits of your organization and your products and services.
To do that - build your sales story
Because relationship marketing is a key sales strategy (even in a short sales cyle - it just means you have less time to build a relationship).
Ensure that you understand the importance of understanding your customer needs; and supporting those needs.
Your small business plan needs to include B2C marketing strategies and actions for sales activities.
The checklist below is not a detailed list of how to sell, it is a list to focus you on the basics of what you need to do to ensure sales success and small business growth.
Always remember to focus on your customer first. If you can make the sales experience for your customer easy, hassle-free, and even delightful and memorable (in a good way), your customer will come back to buy more. Isn't that your goal? Repeat customers? Who are happy with your product and service and who are willing to tell others about their experience buying from you?
You know your product or service.
You know your business (you own it; you better know it). And you know and understand your industry and business environment.
Then the challenge is 'reaching' or getting to your consumer: you must have the right location (whether that's a physical location or an online location).
You must be able to stand-out from all the 'noise' and demonstrate your value based sales approach in a way that enables consumers to be able to make decisions (they are bombarded with advertising, brands, sales pitches).
A Business to Consumer sale always needs advertising, branding and/or sales message tactics.
How can your customer find out about what you have to sell: what pulls them in to your 'store' (physical offline store or online)? Maybe it's the store front; maybe it's signage, maybe it's your reputation; your unique value; your advertising.
Whatever it is, recognize that you must get your message out to your customers, so that they will want to find you and buy from you. For example, year end sales and/or going out of business sales are common in the retail or consumer sales cycle. Do customers 'believe' that message or are they ignoring it in today's over-messaged environment?
Focus on how your unique value proposition 'stands-out' amongst all the other propositions in your industry.
Then make your sales offer irresistible (the strength of your unique value proposition) to your customer.
The sales offer or proposal will change depending on whether or not it is a physical location or an online 'location'.
Be sure that your business system is set up to make the customer's buying experience quick and easy.
In other words, if a storefront location, have friendly, efficient staff available to deal with the sale. Using the year end sales or going out of business sales examples, if you expect those sales events to bring out a large customer crowd, staff your store properly or customers will simply walk away.
If an online store, make the process easy, painless (how many keystrokes/boxes/etc. does a customer have to fill in), and secure. Also, if online, resist the temptation to make the sales experience a way to get too much information from your customers - most customers are smart enough (and busy enough) that your 'trolling' for information would be a turn-off.
The goal is to build a strong relationship with your customer - because if the sale is quick and easy (which is how the customer wants it), it means that building a long term, returning customer relationship can be the challenge.
Make the buying experience good for your customers, and they'll come back for more.
Return to Small Business Sales.
What are the challenges in selling Business to Business?
Or find more business strategies and techniques; use this site as your Small Business Advisor.
Successful selling experiences require using more than one technique.
Yes, face-to-face selling (particularly through relationship building) is often one of the more successful tactics.
But other techniques and strategies include building touch points and sharing information.
In other words, educating your customer or prospect on your products and services and also providing information that will help your customer in their business; making sure that your products or services are highly differentiated from competitors' offerings and communicating that differentiation effectively; and clearly understanding what your customers need in terms of value and delivering it.
Communicate with your customers and prospects in person; over the phone; through the mail (yes, letters, cards, coupons and order forms have high response rates if well designed and well executed); over the Internet through blogs, emails, social media, webinars, and your website; through print materials such as catalogues, coupon books, brochures, business cards, flyers and more.
Build your sales approach as a campaign:
Plan to make contact on a regular and frequent basis (not too frequently to the point of irritating customers or too infrequently to the point of being forgotten) and align your campaign with a strong identity program that is consistent with your brand.
In a business to business selling environment, it used to be that it would take between seven or eight touches to make a sale (or not, since not all contact means that a prospect will buy).
In this Internet age, it takes more touches.
Why? Because we have become both 'ad blind' and somewhat 'insensitive' to touches.
What this means to the small business owner is that your communication (and touches) need to be different from others (not imitations or copies of what everyone else is doing), it needs to be believable and sincere, and it needs to be memorable.
In a business to business sales environment, the selling cycle takes longer to close (and is often more complex) than ever before.
To effectively grow your sales, you need build a plan that will help you to optimize your efforts.
Focus your planning efforts on a lean sales process that: will solve your customer's problem or challenge; has value (i.e. reduces time and/or cost); provides not only what the customer wants but more than has been identified (over-delivering); and that provides a solution that offers convenience, high quality, a price that is acceptable, competitive and covers the business' costs, and exceptional service.