What a 1940’s Rotatiller Salesman Can Teach You About Selling Expensive B2B Products And Services

The majority of B2B websites in the nutrition industry make a deal-killing mistake right on their home page. It’s rampant. And it’s deadly.

It squashes leads. And it can rob your outstanding business of its distinction, tossing you and your sales team back into the morass of websites and businesses vying for your prospect’s attention.

What is it?

It’s that little button on the top right hand side of most websites that says, “Request a Quote.” Sometimes it appears in the only slightly less destructive form of “Speak To A Sales Representative”.

Seemingly innocuous, these little options are stealing your business away from you.

How could that be? Isn’t this what most prospective customers want when they come to your website? Isn’t this the best way to get them to contact your sales team?

Yes… and no.

Yes, it’s true that many of your prospects are interested in getting a bunch of quotes and comparing them to decide who to go with.

However, you don’t want to let this become the game.

And ultimately, your prospects don’t really either.

See, by putting this button on your website, you’re letting your quote define who your business is in your prospect’s mind. You’re letting your business be reduced to just another number. And you’re letting the value of your business – all your products and/or services – be defined by the cost of your goods and services.

When you let this happen you’ve already lost the online game. Because ultimately someone else online will probably offer goods and services for a better price.

And by making this the only incentive for getting in touch with your sales team, you’re letting price become the center of the whole lead nurturing and negotiation process.

Furthermore, you’re only inviting people who are close enough in their purchasing research stages to ask for a price to get in touch with you. B2B sales cycles are tremendously long and only getting longer. By only focusing on people who are ready to get a quote, you’re missing out on the majority of your leads.

For your prospects, this button does them a disservice because in reality, they want a lot more than just a price. They want help in making a decision.

It’s a rare major purchase decision that hinges only on numbers. Your prospects are interested in issues like quality, service, availability, and supportive research. They are worried about missing important considerations that factor into their decision. They are nervous about proposing a solution to decision-makers at their company without all the bases covered.

However, you can change the whole setup and become a super hero in the process.

You can change your business from being defined by price. And instead make your prospect value your business based on a much richer set of criteria.

You can even make price become a somewhat tangential factor in whether your prospect decides to pursue working with you further.

And you can position your business as a valuable partner in problem-solving way before price becomes even a part of the conversation.

Instead of inviting your prospect to get in touch with your sales team to get a quote, offer to help solve your prospects’ problem and help them in their decision-making.

How do you do this?

Replace that troublesome Request-A-Quote button with a compelling white paper offer.

Something like:

“6 Questions You Should Always Ask When Deciding On A Contract Manufacturer”

Or “Four Ways To Make Your Superfruit Product A Success”

(Actual white paper titles I’ve used for clients.)

Right on the top right-hand side of your home page (where the request a quote button usually lurks), advertise your white paper and ask your prospect to opt in so you can send them this valuable information.

Essentially, offer to help your prospect solve their problems instead of focusing on the sale and the price.

This is nothing new. It’s an old and reliable way to sell. In 1947, Lyman Wood used this process to take away the sticker shock of selling rotatillers through the mail. Instead of inviting people to get in touch with him for the sale, he offered a free booklet in his small space ads that helped them understand the value of the machine he was selling.

Without this first offer, he would have lost most of his customer base. Instead, within five years he was able to grow his business from $600,000 in sales to more than $2.5 million in sales. (Remember this is 1940’s dollars.)

Now certainly Wood was selling directly to consumers. (And in the B2B marketing world this makes this reference somewhat taboo.) But the situation was the same. Instead of focusing on selling the price, he focused on selling a solution. He positioned his company as not a source of rotatillers for X number of dollars, but a company that helped people garden more easily and more successfully.

People got in touch with him in order to solve a problem. Not to get a number.

Sixty-odd years later I’ve done the same thing for my clients with tremendous results. One of my clients just reported an increase in leads of 20%.

You can do the same.

Avoid the price war and price discussion. Get rid of the quote-request button.

Use a white paper offer to get into the meat of the conversation – how you can help solve a prospective client’s business problems.

When you make that the hub of your interaction, you help your clients solve their business problems. And as a consequence you help your business grow.

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