Do B2B customers expect more than just the lowest price around?
These days, the lowest price is easy to find for any product. Through the likes of AliExpress, Amazon, Gifi and Wish, global and local suppliers put the lowest prices out there for every conceivable product. There is no longer any need for all the various intermediaries of the past. As a customer, you can now request samples direct from manufacturers, set bulk discounts and even send off your own requests for quotations. So you can always get the lowest price. As a result, the value of a brand can visibly deteriorate. Does it make any difference nowadays whether there’s branding on an item if the price is just a fraction of the original and it often comes from the very same factory? What’s the answer?? Well, it depends…
Give up now!
If you, as a B2B supplier, are truly contemplating joining this race to the bottom, to the lowest price... the answer is simple: Give up now! While you still can and while your business is still worth something! Are you, as a B2B supplier, prepared to take the time to think about your customers and the added value that you provide them with? Are you ready to take a serious look in the mirror and put yourself permanently under the microscope? If so, then there absolutely is a future for your business!
Thinking in actions
What does your customer actually expect? They want you to think about your offer! They want you to teach your organization to think in actions, not items. So they don’t want a solution, they want you to solve their problems. Not just a lamp, but to illuminate them. Not just a car, but to give them transportation. You just need to decide what fits your organization best. To sum up: You need to look after your customers, not just sell them products.
Service and knowledge
How do you do that? First of all, you need to realize that it no longer makes sense just to offer products. Customers recognize their needs on their own, then look for information and make up their minds. They make that decision based on a number of factors. These factors do include price, but service and knowledge are more important to them. So, start thinking about how you can differentiate yourself from the competition. There are two areas you need to look into here. First of all, you need to start thinking of your company as a content supplier, not a product supplier. I don’t mean writing texts, but being aware that everything in your organization should be set up to add content and knowledge for your customers. Secondly, all your operational processes need to be designed to assist your customers. In other words, don’t tell your customers there’s a Track & Trace they can use to work out where their goods are, give them an ETA (estimated time of arrival) so they know where their goods are and when they should be arriving.
Your business as a content supplier!
Finally, in answer to my initial question of “Do B2B customers expect more than just the lowest price around?”, all I can say is... thankfully, yes! Otherwise, we might as well stop selling products right now!