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Just go to Amazon and type 'books on B2B marketing' and you will get over 50,000 results.  Try Google and search 'B2B marketing strategies' and you get 44,900,000 results. That's a lot of strategies and a lot of books. 


This wasn't the case when I started working for clients in the B2B (Business to Business) market some 20 years ago. Then the B2B e-commerce market was globally worth around $145 Billion but was still seen as the poor man's advertising. No one in ad agencies wanted to work on B2B that was left to the juniors and placement students. Everyone wanted the B2C (Business to Consumer) work as they could be creative, win awards, and it was where the real money was.

Today the B2B e-commerce industry is thought to be worth US$17.9 trillion in 2021, which is over 5 times that of the B2C market, and now everyone wants a piece of the action. Oh, how things change.

But you know what. In all that time, with all that growth, with all the new competitors, and countries entering the market the actual process and method of how to stand out and win new clients hasn't really changed that much.


Sure if you sell a product under £500 then the internet has changed the way you deal and sell considerably. But for everyone else, especially in the service industry, it is pretty much business as usual.


Trust is still the biggest and most crucial part of ANY B2B sale and always will be for the simple reason that if a business decision is made and it goes wrong it impacts way more than just the person who made the decision it impacts the business. This means that a bad choice has a much bigger impact and therefore there is way more fear involved in making the decision.


This is typically how the process works (of course there are exceptions to the rule), but not many: 

  1. Company A wishes to find a supplier to provide a new service they require or are fed up with their existing supplier and want to replace them.

  2. Business owner/MD/CEO/C level of company A goes to their network and asks peers and people they trust if they could recommend a company they have used and had previous dealings with.

  3. Business owner/MD/CEO/C gets introduced to various trusted suppliers via their network and then does a quick search to find a couple more outliers to make it a good list (usually 5).

  4. Suppliers provide presentations/pitches to win the business (taking up a huge amount of time) but usually the client has already made up their minds before the presentations even occur.

  5. Client chooses their supplier but tries to hammer them down on cost.


Have you or you business ever been in this situation like this or behaved in the same manner?


In a Harvard Business review article they estimated that this process accounts for over 84% of ALL B2B purchases and peer recommendations are now influencing more than 90% of all buying decisions.


This was also backed up with a survey I ran with my personal network some 5 years ago (please see below).

But if you think about it, it's common sense and only what you have probably done yourself.

So why is this is process SO important to understand? Well, if we agree with the market research and our own experiences it kind of defines everything; Sales, Marketing, Messaging, Content, Business Strategy, Social Media....everything. Yet businesses constantly think that if do a bit of social media, send out some emails and have a flash website you'll win business. But let me ask you. When was the last time you worked with a new company because of something you read?

So the simple truth is if you want to win new clients then you MUST build trust. You must have a clear message that offers a promise that the potential client wants/needs. Then ensure that as many people hear it as possible, repeat it again and again across all media and most important deliver your promise 100%.

In effect this understanding is why I created my Futureproofing process. I realised that most marketing agencies and clients were missing the initial ingredient they require to be successful.


Rather than running about and shouting at everyone trying to win new business all they actually had to do was to work out which clients they needed to win to achieve the growth they wished (I split them into three categories for ease; rabbits, deer's and elephants). Work out what was important to those clients, what they wished to hear and if we could deliver it. Then deliver on that promise again and again and then ensure that as many peers and people within the target market knew about their strengths.

It isn't brain surgery, it's actually common sense.

Some of my clients who have been through my process and what they had to say

Infographic_how businesses buy.jpg


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