Selling to Both Businesses and Consumers
For many business clients, the only way to know who the contacts are is to periodically call and/or visit them. If each account's purchasing volume is high enough, this is well worth the extra expense. This is particularly true when business clients have more than one worthwhile contact. It is important to reach the one who specifies the purchase, the one who approves the purchase, and the one who actually makes the purchase.
Differences in Message
The reason to buy and the tone of the selling message may be quite different for businesses and consumers. The motivations are different from one business contact to another, and as a result smart marketers send different messages to different types of contacts.
The business end user of a product, such as a computer or a printer, is primarily concerned with features, benefits and functionality. The department head may be more concerned with whether the product is compatible with other products already in the office, and whether or not it will fit in the budget. The purchasing agent may be more interested in finding the best place to buy the product. Each business contact has a very different perspective from an at-home consumer.
Finding New Business Customers
It is much more difficult to reach businesses through rental of response lists than it is consumers. There are far fewer response lists to choose from. However, there are several other ways to reach businesses that are not available or not particularly effective for reaching consumers. For example, compiled lists using SIC, sales volume, region and credit variables may be effective. Magazine lists, usually from vertical industry publications, may have excellent contact lists for specialized products.
Before deciding which type of businesses to pursue, remember the 80/20 rule. That is, 80 percent of sales come from 20 percent of the customers. Look not only at how many of each type of business are in the database, but also at how much each type spends. Usually, certain kinds of businesses spend significantly more than others. First, go after the ones that spend the most.