New way of getting B2B customers – what are your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Paul_R, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Paul_R

    Paul_R
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    Hey Guys! Happy 2013! Hope it’s a good one for you all!

    I’m looking for your take on an idea…

    A friend of mine is looking to start a new business that helps businesses in the B2B arena (so businesses who supply to other businesses) find new customers more effectively.

    He’s asked me to join him and work on it, and I kind of like the idea, but I’d love to hear your take on it and any thoughts you have on the concept!

    Here’s the spiel…
    Basically, how do you currently get warm leads for your business?
    Telemarketing?Pay-per-click advertising?SEO? Trade Shows?...
    Well, how about if you stated what type of customers you are looking for (your ideal customer in terms of industry, employee size, turnover, decision maker title, etc…) and then individuals who know the type of customers you are looking for could introduce your company to them if they are interested in hearing from you?…
    Here, via an online platform, you state what customers you are looking for, and how much you are willing to pay for warm leads that have been pre-qualified. People who then know the customers you are after are then alerted, and are told they will be paid the amount if they can facilitate an intro on your behalf.
    You get pre-qualified warm leads via a referral (the best type of lead!), and the person referring the customer to you gets money for facilitating the introduction. You only pay if someone can provide a pre-qualified lead.
    The model works on a national & global scale, so you can get introductions across the country (/globe!) which previously you would have no access to.


    So, what do you guys think??
    - Could you use this to get new warm leads for your business?
    - Would you be prepared to introduce people from your contact base to businesses in return for money? (which could range from £50 upto £1k+, depending upon the industry type)

    Be great to hear the thoughts of everyone and see if (a) you could use it for your business, and (b) whether you would be willing to introduce people from your contact base in return for money.

    Cheers guys!
    Paul
     
  2. scifi

    scifi
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    Idea is not bad ..infact a good proposal...But two major question arises...

    1- Is a person not trading with privacy by giving client information to you in return for money?
    2-Just client information or lead will be paid or when it converts into a sale..? How can one keep track of it??

    whats your thoughts on this??
     
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  3. Fergal

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    Businesses are always open to opportunities to increase their sales revenue. If your friend's business can really help them with that, then he should be able to find clients who are willing to pay for the service. Will your friend concentrate on a particular industry sector?
     
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  4. Paul_R

    Paul_R
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    Hi guys, thanks for the great responses so far!

    @scifi -

    Very good points Scifi, let me take each of these in turn:
    1. The person making the introduction would only pass on the details of the customer to the company asking for the introduction AFTER the introducer has qualified that the company would indeed like to be introduced to the company (who's prodcuts and/or services they are interested in)
    2. This is a very good point. At the start, the money paid is for a introduction only (so access to a pre-qualified lead). However an additional amount could be paid if this lead converts in the future. However, like you say, how we keep track of which leads have converted and which havent is the main issue here...

    @ Fergal -

    This is a great point Fergal, and one 've been wrestling with him over. Niche'ing the sector at the start should get the model proven, customers onboard, and a bit of traction - i was thinking an industry which has B2B sales, and that would embrace such a new, radical concept. I came up with computer software industry.

    What do you think? Do you have any suggestions?



    In a short example of how the concept works in real-life; you get notified that I'm looking for (lets say...) small businesses (under 50 people) who need accountancy software - and i'm willing to pay $100 to anyone who can make an introduction.

    You then speak to (or email) your contacts and see if anyone is interested in being introduced. If one or two are on the look-out for new accounting software at that time, or would be interested in hearing about a new product, then they would agree to be introduced.

    You would then introduce me to them, and i'd pay you the $100. (If you made 2 intro's, i'd then pay you $200.)

    I get access to a new potential customer, you get $100 for making the introduction, and the customer hopefully gets to hear about a product/service they actually need/are interested in.

    ---

    Anyone else got any thoughts on it?

    Would you be prepared to introduce companies to members of your contact base for cash?

    regards,


    Paul
     
  5. Business Attorney

    Business Attorney
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    It's an interesting idea. It would obviously need a pretty large number of people to work well, so one question to ask yourselves is how can you attain that critical mass quickly enough that the concept doesn't die on the vine? It seems that you would have to ramp up pretty quickly because the early users would end up dropping off if it took too long to be useful.
     
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  6. Fergal

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    Software is an industry sector where it might, perhaps in higher end software such as ERP systems. You could also look at other areas such as web designers who may be great technically, but need some help when it comes to sales and marketing.
     
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  7. alicemenezes

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    Those are great ways, social media to is the new and upcoming way to generate some great leads. LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B.
     
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  8. scifi

    scifi
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    1- This is good idea.. that means person will be an authorized intermediator on your behalf, So it could work on the mechanism, mixed of little bit commision type agent...
    2-This is really good proposal, being paid for an official introduction..But what are the return prospects of this introduction, are they attractive enough that person will be able to push himself in deep.. Verbal Trust is the main factor, anything in writing will be there?
     
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  9. Paul_R

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    Hi guys, great response here – so thanks for the replies! :)

    @ Business Attorney –
    Great point this, and one which all ‘network-type’ business models will struggle with in the early days. That’s why at the start, while the site is in its infancy, we are planning to manually go out and fulfil the lead requests from the companies – to try to ‘push’ the site along and gain traction. I.e. if you posted on day one, chances are there will be no-one listed who can introduce you to the customers you are interested in being connected to. However, upon receiving your ideal customer details, we would go out and approach (via LinkedIn) people who are well connected and could potentially facilitate an introduction to the customers you are looking for.
    This will be a bit tedious and tiresome at the start, but it should prove the model works, start gaining the site some traction and start building the user-base.
    Any other ideas on how we could get round this?

    @ Fergal –
    Nice call on ERP software – will be nice high intro fee’s aswell here (so easier to fulfil at the start). The web designers is a good one too – focusing on companies who may not have a sales & marketing dept, so this could be their incoming pipeline. Nice!

    @Alicemenezes –
    I definitely agree Alice! Any other ideas?

    @Scifi –
    Good point here, anything you can suggest to get around this verbal trust?


    Cheers Guys! Some great feedback coming through here!


    Would you guys use if to get new customers for your business?

    And would you be prepared to introduce people through it?

    Paul
     
  10. Beth

    Beth
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    As per my personal view, B2B stands for Business-to-business that describes the commerce transaction between businesses, such as manufacturer and a wholesaler, or between a wholesaler and a retailer.For generating more potential B2B customers,I would like to share some points here:
    1.Try to focus on Customer's wants,rather than concentrating your customers.
    2.Keep on giving reminders to the customers that you are out there and ready to serve them with you help.
    3.People buy from other people.
    4.Create and Impression on the minds of the Customers.
    5.Become an expert on the business that you are trying to help.
    6.Focus on building strong relationship with your customer.
    7.Try to sell virtually and to answer every question that your customer is thinking in their mind.
     
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  11. scifi

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    Well though verbal trust is the biggest constraint it does not have any other alternative. The only way possible and simple seems to be an official email confirming the introduction details ...
     
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