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Your B2B Clients – First off – DON’T SELL – HELP, & here’s how!

Ideas to help your B2B clients today, during this Covid-19 pandemic.

I’ve been reading many articles, and watching a lot of videos, about how to reach out to B2B clients during this Covid-19 crisis.

And with 40+ years in B2B, as a sales person, executive, business owner, and sales coach, I have also been through many downturns in my career, including stagflation in the 70’s, 22% interest rates in the early 80’s, the late 80’s recession, Y2K, 9/11, and the recession of 2008/9. So, I have seen and been through a lot.

And so, with all this knowledge, I want to give you some good ideas about how to deal with your B2B clients, especially in the early stages of this world-wide lockdown.

Here are a number of ideas you can us, but remember DON’T SELL right now – HELP YOUR CLIENTS.

Invest with your B2B Clients

You need to invest with your clients. Here are 5 ways to do that

1. Respect the time of your client; ask “is now a good time to talk?”
2. Provide value at every interaction
3. Align to your client’s priorities and strategies, short term, mid term, and long term. Use my GAIM Plan to understand their goals and priorities.
4. Work with your client’s teams, not just the CXO, work with admin of CXO’s, your client’s direct reports
5. Connect the dots, help your clients know what is going on within their market, inside their companies, etc.

Your clients will remember you as how you act, don’t talk about selling, but helping. Don’t pester, and don’t ask “how can I help?”.

Give them options EG: do you need to shift payments, scale down projects, etc.

Come with knowledge, with insights, best practices, etc. Approach each client with a perspective, POV, etc. Tell them what your other clients are doing now.

• Balance survival mode of your client with survival mode of your own organization.
• Don’t have your internal problems affect the client.
• If your products are mission critical to your client, have your top execs talk to your client’s top execs.

What to do right now
• Understand that your client’s focus is on the now, cost, liquidity,
• Talking about the future is dumb, it’s all about them right now.
• You will find that most solutions need to be towards cost reduction right now

Mid cycle
Clients are looking at recovery at this point. Focus on cost, and looking at top line growth.

Recovering cycle
Focus on top line solutions. Help get revenue back in the door, so they can grow again.

On the Buy side
1. Focus on your expertise, your capability, and resources that you can provide
2. Give advisory services on cost and HR
3. Growth moving with new markets, new clients.

Your B2B Client’s CFO needs ideas

Always be looking out for how to stop the bleeding.

How well do you know your client’s financials? All clients are looking at the bottom line right now.

Expect more client CFO insight than before, how will your products and/or services affect your client’s financial performance.

ROI and payback are more important now, than ever before, as the CFO is overseeing everything now more than ever.

How well do you tailor your message to certain buyers? If your ROI can be big, possibly talk about large capital investments, and get a quick hit.

Do financing for them, show them how to go to new markets, help them finance the curve.

• Their shareholders, private equity owners, want to see a short-term growth plan So, give them ideas for that.
• You need to give quick wins, or you will be replaced.
• You need to give a high reward, relative to any risk to them.

Deliver B2B Insights & Best Practices

Clients want you to come up with a provocative Point Of View to help them recover.

Share best practices from other industries and how your other clients did things.

Always start with the end in mind. What can you bring to the table to help when this all ends?

Now more than ever, it’s important to have key client’s insights. These insights can include;
1. Identify client’s key strategies and what executives are compensated on
2. Assess client’s financial performance and identify areas of opportunities
3. Find out how buyers are aligned to their company’s goals, and the key strategies, and what are the financial areas of opportunities
4. Discover buyers’ strategies, initiatives, and measures of success
5. Tailor your message for each buyer’s persona
6. Measure the cash flow benefits of your solutions

Help your clients, using these ideas, and you will be seen as someone who cares. Remember what your clients think; “I don’t care how much you know, until I know how much you care”.

Ian Dainty
Kind regards,
Ian Dainty
Ian Dainty’s Email

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2 Responses to “Your B2B Clients – First off – DON’T SELL – HELP, & here’s how!”

  1. Vikram Raghavachari says:

    Great article and advice Ian!

    Hope you’re well and safe.

    Thanks,

    Vikram

    • Ian Dainty says:

      Thanks Vikram. I hope you and your family and colleagues are surviving this pandemic OK.

      let me know how you are doing, and if there is anything I can help you with.

      Cheers, Ian

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