The aviation and aerospace industries are largely B2B. With such technology and big-budget products on the line, most companies aren’t aiming at individual consumers; instead, they’re targeting large corporations, international firms and even government agencies.
But as important as recognizing this “B2B” aspect of your business is, too many people let that designation limit them. Rather than using B2B to guide their strategies and efforts, they use it as a fence – one that tells them not to go somewhere, do something or try something different. They stay in that safe “B2B” pen and never venture out ever again.
Here’s why this is a problem: Sure, there are B2B and B2C companies out there, and yes, they should take care to target their marketing and branding accordingly. But at the heart of it, there isn’t much of a difference in the two labels, is there? In fact, they have one very, very important thing in common.
With both, the end user – the one who’s making the decision to buy (either for themselves or their company) – is a PERSON.
And that’s the key. Whether you’re targeting the business of an individual or you want a company to buy your services, at the end of the day, you’re still marketing to a human. In the end, person-to-person marketing should be at the forefront of your mind when thinking about your organization and its offerings.
B2B doesn’t have to mean cold, sterile or impersonal. Just because someone is buying for a million-dollar company doesn’t mean they don’t want a friendly smile, a good laugh and maybe some hand-holding throughout the buying process.
They’re still a person, just like you and me, and just as you would in a B2C situation, you should try to make a connection with your B2B customers and make them feel excited, engaged and a part of your brand.
Here are a few ways you can pivot your B2B efforts to more P2P ones:
- Prove the personal benefits. Everyone wants to get something out of the work they do, so appeal to that when making sales. Will your services make them look good to their boss? Will your products position them above their colleagues or maybe even their competitors? Will it give their company clout, and therefore themselves? Show them that they – not just their company – can benefit from doing business with you.
- Build relationships. Don’t sell and run. Invest time in developing relationships and keeping in touch long after a sale is complete. Follow up with people you meet at trade shows, check in to see if customers need support after a purchase, or simply send an email to wish them a happy holiday or check in on their family. When their job requires them to interact with sales people every day of the week, it can be easy for vendors to fade into the background. Keep your company at the top of their mind by nurturing a strong relationship with each customer (and potential customer) you meet.
- Get to know the individuals. Knowing what a company is about is one thing, but if you want to connect with the people buying your products and services, you need to know them on a personal level, too. Take time to get to know the individuals on the teams and at the organizations you’re selling to – and make it a point to appeal to their personal interests and needs, rather than just their company’s.
- Be you, not your company. Whenever talking with a potential client, making a sales call or attending a trade show, come as you. Yes, you’ll be sporting that company polo, and you’ll certainly be a representative of your organization, but at the end of the day, be you. Customers don’t want to do business with robots. They want real people who they like, know and trust.
Are you still limiting yourself with the traditional B2B label? Instead of focusing on what type of customer you’re targeting, try focusing on the bigger picture: The people. Strategize with them in mind, and you’ll be far ahead of your competition. Need help pivoting to a person-to-person marketing approach? Haley Aerospace can help.