Business Planning Considerations: Doing Business with Business (B2B) Customers
If you have a business-to-business company, include a detailed description of the ideal client in your business plan. B2B is shorthand for the great contingent of businesses that sell to other businesses rather than to individual consumers.
Business and individual customers share concerns about price, quality, convenience, service, reliability, and expertise. But you can also expect some important distinctions in how business customers buy:
They rarely buy on impulse.
The buying patterns of their customers and what’s happening in their industries affect their buying behavior.
Their buying decisions often rely on approval from managers, owners, financial consultants, or others.
For success selling to businesses, you really need to get organized. Use a form like the one shown to create a profile for each of your business clients and major prospects and then circle the characteristics all have in common. Use these common traits to create an ideal business customer snapshot — two or three paragraphs describing the kinds of clients you want to target.
If you sell to business clients, do your homework first. Use this form as you collect information.