One of the many victims of the pandemic was trade shows where companies could show off their products and woo buyers. A spokesperson for Classic Exhibits told MSN last October that they annually averaged about 2,000 shows that contributed $1.2 trillion to the gross national product. They said they would be fortunate to put on 500 shows in 2020.
In an attempt to remedy the challenge, many B2B companies resorted to virtual events. Certain industries like arts and crafts, self-improvement and fitness held their own, but others saw declines in revenue.
Many industries are looking forward to the return of in-person shows so they can not only educate their target audiences but also showcase new products. But even if trade shows return, the question of whether attendees will return remains.
Virtual or “live” shows are strategies sellers can employ to enhance their chances of success. 71% of buyers told a 2020 Rain Group survey that buyers who make an effort to discover their wants, concerns, and needs have significant influence over their decision to buy.
One of the most powerful questions a seller can ask is “Why?” Discovering a buyers’ most pressing needs and conducting meaningful research into their goals and hopes make a huge difference in closing sales.
Why is Why Successful?
Successful discovery can lead to helping buyers solve their problems and/or see what’s possible. The Rain survey also polled sellers, 89% of whom ranked it as their number two challenge. They conceded that fulfilling these buyer needs is challenging for them as well.
In order to be successful at discovery, listening is a huge asset. Just 25% of buyers surveyed by Rain classified their sellers as effective listeners. Whether in-person or virtual, body language like a nod or eye contact, goes a long way toward connecting. Affirming what buyers said by briefly restating it also confirms that they were heard.
Making the Connection
In most B2B meetings, ROI is of great importance to buyers. Sellers who clearly connect the impact their product can make on the buyers’ ROI will go a long way toward securing a sale. Although 66% of buyers polled said ROI would have a strong influence on them, only 16% said their sellers effectively demonstrated this.
New perspectives and ideas have always been cherished by buyers. RAIN discovered that successful sellers educate customers three times more often than their competitors.
64% of buyers also reported being highly influenced by this. So, too, are buyers who communicate value. 60% of buyers expressed its importance.
To half the buyers polled, getting and keeping their attention is also important. One way of achieving this is for sellers to differentiate themselves from the competition. Just 21% of buyers felt their sellers were successful. Sellers who deliver on their promises stand out.
88% of sellers reported that developing and establishing virtual relationships with buyers is challenging. That’s why the root of many of these tips comes down to building a strong rapport with buyers and keeping one’s word. In doing so, trust and confidence can then be established.