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Selling to small business

What do you think are some of the key differences in marketing and selling products and services to small business owners (i.e. less than 20 staff) compared to bigger business? How should we modify our approach to maximise our chances of being successful with this market? What areas are small business decision makers most concerned with and how can we best reach them? i.e. through facts and stats or emotional appeals, promotions etc - by salesjunior
What do you think are some of the key differences in marketing and selling products and services to small business owners (i.e. less than 20 staff) compared to bigger business? How should we modify our approach to maximise our chances of being successful with this market? What areas are small business decision makers most concerned with and how can we best reach them? i.e. through facts and stats or emotional appeals, promotions etc
There are no pat answers to your questions. It depends on the product or service you are selling.

I'll give you two examples to illustrate. If you sell media advertising, chances are that an advertising agency would be managing the ad program for a large company, while with a small company it would be handled internally often by the owner dealing directly with the reps. Two entirely different sales process' would be required. But, take the same exact two companies, and if you're selling office cleaning services the selling format would not vary that much.

It is the distribution of the products and services that is the primary factor that determine the differences between selling to large or small companies.

To illustrate the distribution factor, a major hotel chain would buy carpeting direct from a manufacturer's division that serves the hospitality market under a blanket agreement with that manufacturer. A small hospitality inn would buy from a local floor covering outlet. - by Gary A Boye
I can tell you this; Most small business owners with 20 employees or less are almost universally overworked, underpaid, and somewhat desperate.

My background includes running thousands of initial small business leads and conducting fact-finding interviews (520 personally done in one year).

When I would ask if the owner had invested all his money and time to own the worst job of his life, about 98% agreed.

Most owners (hesitate to generalize but I've found this true) started as widget builders...then started a company with employees to make the widgets...and ends up doing all the jobs he or she hates like sales, HR, accounting, legal questions, etc.

These owners need and deserve all the help they can get.

So - what do you offer and what does it do for them? - by magicman
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