7 Behavior Insights to Attract Small Business Customers

 

Small businesses practice distinct buying behaviors

For providers of value-added services or products who need to market to small business buyers, it’s critical to understand their needs and constraints. These seven proven behaviors summarize how, why and when buyers make their decisions and transactions.

1. Business owners have a distinct vendor selection process.

Based on information from a Gartner study, buyers generally divide prospect research into three blocks of time, usually around 20 minutes each.

In the research phase, prospects seek out potential partners. In the qualification phase, they engage with these potential partners to understand their capabilities. In the evaluation phase they move toward a decision.

It’s important to understand the phased approach, because it speaks to the need for marketers to have an integrated sales and marketing platform that touches prospects in all three phases. From case studies on your website to drip marketing campaigns, your entire marketing effort should be designed to touch prospects with information relevant to each phase.

2. Small businesses seek out particular data points about potential suppliers.

Smart marketers understand this selection process and deliver information that prospects are looking for. Often in the case of value-added services such as IT, buyers are looking for information about how things work and at what price. If you sell services to small businesses, make sure you convert the intangible into something tangible.

For example, ensure your white papers and case studies have clear visual models and illustrations that show how services are delivered, so you can advance from phase one to phase two.

3. Prospects are most likely to buy when they are in pain.

While marketers have long understood that they must identify pain and need, business owners often act based on particular events occurring in their business. In the example of outsourced IT, a prospect is more likely to seek out an IT partner directly following a cyber breach or similar event.

Marketing communication is like chocolate–you don’t want too much, or too little. Marketers need to find ways to be in front of prospects often without overwhelming them. Having an omnichannel communication approach provides opportunity for multiple touches without creating fatigue.

4. Provide proof.

Social proof has become game, set, and match in marketing today. Prospects will not only validate you on your website but will seek independent validation in the form of reviews on Angie’s List, Yelp and others. Make such validation easy to find or create your own social proof through testimonials and such.

5. Entrepreneurs want to grow.

Offers that focus on driving revenue are more meaningful than services that are categorized as a cost center. Business owners will pay a premium for outsourced services they view as accretive to building enterprise value.

In my consulting practice, I have consistently been able to up sell services when the service provided was directly related to improving the client’s service delivery or sales productivity.

6. Business owners care about value, not so much about price.

Business owners are trying to earn a profit themselves and understand there are costs associated with the benefits they buy. They want to see value from their suppliers.

While you may not need to be the cheapest, you do need to prove your value through total cost-of-ownership-type comparisons. Provide such data at the end of your interactions with them in phase three, after you’ve proven you are the supplier of choice.

7. Small business owners are firefighters.

They are time-starved with limited resources. They want their vendors to get to the point. Make sure your website navigation is clean, and ensure your white papers, testimonials and other marketing pieces are illustrative.

Knowing their time constraints, be maniacal about follow-up. As most suppliers have poor follow-through, providing personal attention and follow-up can separate you from the pack.

Source: https://www.inc.com/marc-emmer/want-to-attract-small-business-customers-use-these-behavior-insights-to-market-to-them-successfully.html?cid=search

 

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The biggest misconception about email marketing in the US…

I have to opt in to receive B2B emails..

After sending hundreds of thousands of B2B emails we want to share the single most misunderstood part about email marketing, we hear it everyday. So, we want to clear it up and provide the actual rules for CAN SPAM Compliance, because, in reality businesses can send other businesses emails as long as they comply with the CAN SPAM rules.

Here are the CAN SPAM rules for the USA so you can be better informed…

Do you use email in your business? The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.

Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $41,484, so non-compliance can be costly. But following the law isn’t complicated. Here’s a rundown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.

Source: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

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