Why there is no B2B, just person to person

“What did you get done today?” Elon Musk asked the then CEO of Twitter…

Reading their texts felt like eavesdropping on two former friends having a tiff! It was further proof of this critical truth – there is no such thing as a B2B sale or deal.

All deals are done between people, no matter how big the deal gets (this one was worth 44 billion and being negotiated on texts probably using poop emojis!).

Viewing deals as being done between two businesses is a mistake – you cannot sell to a corporate entity, only to other people.

Deals rely on personal trust and understanding between two people or two groups of people, and people like to do business with those they know, like and trust.

Remember, people buy emotionally and then justify it rationally.

They make a connection with someone and then seek out reasons why they should do a deal with them. When this doesn’t happen, deals can get lost in detail or negotiated in bad faith.

Here’s how to make this idea front and centre in your business development:

Step 1: Identify the person you want to connect with. This should be a senior decision maker. It’s great to have other stakeholders on board, but you want to create a relationship with the person who can sign off the deal.

Step 2: Then try to understand them and their agenda beyond the transactional element of the deal. Make sure you understand their concerns or hesitations about committing. This could be financial, but there’ll also be human motivations, such as ‘How will this deal affect me reputationally in front of my boss, board or shareholders?’ or ‘This is going to be stressful and a massive time suck for me’.

Step 3: Now make them see you as their partner, not someone trying to extract from them, by showing you understand their concerns and providing support and solutions for them.  For example, if they need to convince their boss or their board, work with them to help present and explain it. Always ask ‘how can I serve this person and make this proposition easier and more beneficial for them’.

Need some help?

If you’d like some help developing your new business strategy, contact us here for an initial discussion.