The Modern B2B Client Wants To Lead, Not Be Led

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Speaker 1:

I was talking to a client last week and she remarked that B2B was changing. And then she paused and corrected herself. And she said, “I don’t think B2B is changing. I think it’s already changed.” And I said, “What do you mean?” And she went on to explain. She said, “The way we used to make decisions is we used to go to a conference once a year. I would talk to my colleagues. We talked to analysts.” And she said, “But now that feels so different. It feels like everything that we’re doing, we’re talking through our peer network, we’re talking to people on LinkedIn, we’re making these connections outside of our traditional scopes.”

And she said, “I think that’s been happening for awhile.” And then she said, “It dawned on me that this is probably how all our customers and clients are also thinking.” And they told her that she was absolutely right. The world of B2B marketing sales, there’s this beautiful dance, if you can think about it that way. And traditionally, B2B buyers always accepted that the dance would go a certain way, that they would be led and they would follow. And the sales person in the company had all the power, they had information, information that the buyer desperately needed. They needed that to make their decision. But that has changed. That’s no longer the case. In fact, the ideal B2B buyer, the modern B2B buyer, they don’t want to be led. They want to do the leading. They want to lead the process. And they want to find, they don’t want to be fed. They don’t want to be sold to piecemeal by piecemeal. They want to find things. They want to discover them. And they certainly don’t want to be convinced. They want to close. In fact, that’s been the title of my keynote I’ve delivered in these last few months about how you have to close first, convince later because the B2B world isn’t changing, it has changed. And this means that you need to be out there more so than ever before. Because at the end of the day, recall drives revenue.


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