At one of my in-house trainings for one of the big restaurants’ disposables supplies factories, in the capital Riyadh; I was talking about the market and the threats and opportunities ahead. My presentation was simple and as usual, I start with the bad news for the market (Macro ), then the brand and how do they look in terms of awareness and online performance. While the staff and some of the management team were interacting on some topics in my presentation, it popped up again and the same question again. “But we are a B2B business and our customers are the companies, so they are not online”It is not the first time I hear this, yet it is true B2B means you are selling to businesses not individuals. To proof this, When you are McDonald’s for example, you sell your burger to Sarah and she pays directly to you. So the transaction happens between the restaurant and her directly as a customer. This is not true for B2B business as it is not an individual who pays, it is the business. But that only important for the transaction and the parties sending and receiving the money. Yet the principal of selling is one in B2C and B2B. Let me explain, as I have asked the sales manager of the factory: “who is the person that takes a decision to buy your products for their restaurants?”
He answered: ” The vendors management department manager.
Then I asked :” what is his name? “.
He answered:” mohammed”
Me:” How old is he?”.
Him:” 40 years old”.
Me: “Does he use a mobile phone?”.
Him: ” Yes, he does, and it is a brand new Galaxy”.
Me: Does he use Facebook?
Him: “yes, he does, and he is actively connected”.
Me: ” Do you think he can see ads on Facebook?”.
Him:” Of course, everybody does, because they are crazily annoying”.
Me: ” What if he (Mohammed) sees your brand’s ad on facebook, for the products he likes to buy from you?”.
Him:” oh! It is this thing you mean here”.
Now this means, as long as you are dealing with humans in your selling, then it means it is a normal human to human conversation and it is not a unique thing for B2B. The main difference is the decision making process. This usually depends on the rules for the business and how to buy from you. And for consumers, like in Sarah’s case with McDonald’s, it is a straightforward and there is no complexity in the process.
So selling to businesses appears to be something you can win.