A business to business marketing mistake

With permission I’m able to relay this business to business marketing mistake that one of my mastermind members made these last few months. We all knew that the change he made was responsible for the error – but it took a while to pin down the “why”.

So an autoparts wholesaler has a pretty comprehensive website when it came to the products they offered. Each part comes with its own spec that many needed but often did without. However, there was a base of clientele that needed him to fax that spec sheet over whenever they were looking to make a purchase. And several asked why he didn’t just make them available on the website.

After looking at his competitors websites, he realized that if he did put them on the site, he’d likely be the only one offering that additional value. All-in-one convenience. So he decided to make the change and made sure it was noted in all the marketing. And once he made that change his web traffic not only went up, but he started getting a whole lot more direct traffic.

About 4 months later he noticed that while web traffic was up, sales were beginning to slow. Can you guess what business to business marketing mistake he made?

(If you want to take a guess, leave your guess in the comment form below THEN read on. . . )

So his greatest mistake was not fully understanding how his company made money. He understood who his clients were and how they made their buying decisions. He understood which customers needed approval and which could order it right away. And he understood what they needed for their organization to make a deal.

But he left out a crucial step most likely undetectable at first glance. By providing the spec sheets on the website for download, he cut out the human interaction that went many sales. When a customer called to get the spec sheet, a conversation would ensue that often created more sales, bolstered the loyalty and strength of the relationship and ultimately led to more closed deals.

Once his customers could get the specs without talking to him, that loyalty went away. In fact customers of other companies began using his website to download the spec sheet before they called their regular company. In the “customer buying process” (which we write about extensively here), that phone call was crucial to every sale.

Not recognizing that phone call as one of the crucial customer contact points in the sales funnel was their ultimate downfall.

Efficiency at the internet and web level led to fewer calls, separation and distance between the clients and himself and almost zero upsells – which always happened on the phone. Promising something that ultimately ruins the money funnel is surely a marketing mistake you don’t want to make

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