The New Marketplace: Why Your Sales Need Marketing
Unless you work part-time or are happy where you are, online marketing plays a vital role in growing your distributor business. Just like any other business today, in any industry, you must be visible to your prospects.
If you’re looking to grow your business to seven figures and beyond, you need to increase your client base in a systematic way. This will be very hard to achieve without an online presence that positions your expertise.
The marketing landscape has changed drastically, and you know it. Prospecting and sales systems are important, but your sales need marketing. In the B2B space, when you approach a prospect, if you’ve managed to make an impression, they will go to your website and judge you by it.
95% of B2B buyers research a company online before making purchases. (Source: Accenture State of B2B Procurement State)
What this means is that buyers are prospecting you, and key buying decisions have been made before a buyer talks to you. Buyers also prefer to do their own research and evaluate their options on their own:
45% of prospects said they want to identify their needs and evaluate solutions before they engage with a sales person. (Source: CSO Insights’ Buying-Selling Gap Study)
The point is to adapt your selling process so it can meet their buying process.
You want to provide the information they are looking for that will position you as the expert and communicate the value you bring to the table.
Your prospects will go to your website and social media profiles to check you out.
If your website is a cookie cutter one—with “featured products” picked by the site provider and a product search bar, with little to no information about who you are and what you bring to the table—you will be viewed as a commodity seller and price will be your differentiator. Additionally, if your special media is full of generic product-centric posts with nothing about you, it will just confirm your commodity seller status.
If your website does a good job communicating how you can help with product advice, customization and other concerns your prospect might have, then they’ll see you as a valuable addition to their vendor partners. If they check your social media and they see your work, your insights, personality and such, they will connect with you at a personal level and the know, like and trust factors will play in your favor.
Prospects are searching for providers on the web and doing their due diligence before contacting a company. And when they do, they’re ready to buy. This includes corporate clients looking for a go-to provider, who can help beyond the product purchase transaction. These buyers will contact a local promotional product distributor who they feel can be a good fit.
But, let’s face it—most distributor websites don’t pass the test. They are generic online product catalogs. They have no content. They don’t show any expertise nor personality. They are not optimized for the search engines for buyers to find them.
As far as social media, many distributors rely on automated posting services that do very little to build brand awareness and differentiation.
But online marketing is not a straightforward thing. It’s in constant evolution. There are a lot of misconceptions and a lot of hype. If you are considering hiring a professional to help you, make sure they have experience in a similar B2B model that’s account based, relationship business model.
The online marketing approach will be very different to that of a B2C. Make sure they are not learning with you. Ask a lot of questions and make sure what they are telling you makes sense.
Marketing your business online is not optional if you are looking to grow your distributor business.
You must leverage the power of the internet to build visibility and reach new markets. You must nurture prospects and clients by sharing knowledge to demonstrate expertise and establish trust. You also want to stay visible to clients so you stay top-of-mind and reassure them you are the best choice.
If you need help with marketing your distributor business, help yourself to Action Marketing’s Resource Library. You will find marketing articles, on demand webinars and guides, all fee, to help you learn how to market your business in the digital age.
This article was originally published in ActionMarketingCo.com.
Gloria Lafont is a mother, grandmother and business owner. Throughout her business career she has started, bought and sold a dozen businesses in the branding and marketing field, including a distributor company. She’s currently president of Action Marketing Co., founded in 2007. Her company focuses on helping distributors increase visibility, generate awareness and drive traffic so they can connect with more of their ideal clients and generate more leads and sales.
Gloria is a big fan and supporter of education and the cultural arts, volunteering her time and donating marketing support over the years to help various organizations grow in membership and revenue. She also enjoys the South Florida lifestyle mix of business, beaches and arts.