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  • Alan Thorpe

Want to be appointed without pitch? Then on B2B Brand Building.

Updated: Jan 25

So, you want more leads from your B2B Marketing, and you want to get appointed without a pitch. Let's just look at the different parties within B2B deals and what they want out of things. Supplier needs - you want a profit. Prospect needs - you want to make sure you get your KPIs and outcomes you expect out of appointing a supplier. Supplier wants to get appointed without pitch. Prospect wants a low-risk selection. Suppliers, you'd love to get referred into lots of new great positions wouldn't you! Interestingly eighty-four percent of B2B buyers start with a referral according to the Edelman Trust Barometer. There's a real match up here.

Of course, it's vital to remember how we make decisions as human beings. Kahneman's work, where he talked about system one and system two thinking, absolutely comes into the B2B selection process. System one thinking - these are the decisions we don't have to think about too much - which is one reason why buyers look for referrals. 84% look for referrals before drawing up their selection list. System two thinking? Well, you've got to really make the brain grey matter work for that! This is one reason why it's almost impossible to win a cold pitch if you're an unknown quantity because the buyer is going to really think hard! We don't like doing that so it's this system one system, two approach, which means that brand is so fundamental to B2B selling.

And it's the job of those of us who are in sales and marketing in B2B to make it easier for buyers to decide by building our tribe of buyers who are familiar with the brand and recall the brand; and doing this over time.

So, B2B brand building means long-term marketing activity and it means adding value consistently about an area of expertise over time. And you choose that area of expertise according to who your buyer group is, so that you're appealing to them, getting them comfortable with you and able to take a type one, system one should I say, decision and maybe appoint you without a pitch. This is where most businesses really struggle.

I've often found that because businesses keep changing their area of expertise or not being consistent with it over time, they’ve not been able to build prospect brand recall. It's back to that thing that I mentioned last week that if you want to run a triathlon and then someone offers you someone who's also a golf coach, it's just not as convincing.

I have worked for a couple of businesses that have tried to prove their expertise in multiple different areas. It's very confusing because generally the marketing messages that go out are not consistent enough to build that winning of attention, recall and trust that's required to get appointed without pitching.

So next week we're going to be talking a bit about how should you choose your area of expertise, what are your options.


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