B2B is a whole different world. These are business people. Of course, in retail selling, you deal with some of the same people, but the context is completely different. The business owner in a retail setting is just another consumer. The same business owner in his office, running his business is a different animal, indeed! He is in his own element, this time, and that is a double-edged sword. He is not at home, after a hard day at work when a salesperson knocks on the door; Rather, he is at work, where he understands the importance of selling. Selling is the only thing that makes everything else possible. That usually is good news. He knows you do the same thing his company does. You are kindred spirits. On the other hand, he may be sick of being in business that he recoils at everything about it - including you!
By the way, I just entered an arrangement with a firm in Connecticut, to represent them as an account executive in Northwest Arkansas. I am selling their text message marketing services. It is a great service and I expect it to do well. This is great. I haven't done B2B in a long time. This will give me more blog fodder, for sure.
What I am doing is mostly dealing with small business owners and managers and I'm calling on these businesses cold. The only thing I know I'm looking for is the person that can make marketing decisions. However, I usually don't just walk in and announce that that is whom I am looking for. I will give a receptionist or perhaps a salesperson that greets me a mini-pitch, of sorts. It makes them feel special because you obviously think they are important. They will go to bat for you every time as you climb their company ladder.
Whether I have the decision maker or not, I am not looking for a sales opportunity right then. I just want an appointment. I only need 10 minutes. "How about this afternoon or maybe tomorrow sometime?" That takes the heat off and it's kind of funny watching the relief come over them. They have escaped for the moment.
Now, this is IMPORTANT: Don't turn on your heels and leave, Let the small talk begin. Wether, sales, or whatever, just start a conversation. Then, start sneaking your pitch in, covertly. Most often, they will invite you into their office in the middle of the small talk.
That small talk part is very important in all sales. When you reach a sticky spot in your negotiations, change the subject till thing cool off, then back to business. DO NOT USE THIS TACTIC WHEN YOU ARE CLOSING! When closing, the first person to speak, loses. That saying has been around a long time, but it is absolutely true.
Next time, we'll talk about a B2B presentation.