A newly released study on what matters most to business buyers shows how much reputation matters. Here are five ways to put your good B2B reputation to work to help grow your organization.
Reputation Tops Business Buyers Concerns -5 Ways to Make a (Good) B2B Reputation Work for You
We recently covered a new report that listed reputation not only as the number one consideration of B2B buyers when choosing professional services but as the single most important tipping point for these buyers when making a decision. Here are five ways to be sure that your reputation is a good one and that it’s working to help you grow.
If you missed our two-part article on what B2B buyers want most when choosing professional services, what they want to avoid, what their top considerations and decision-making tipping points are, a quick peek at the data we pulled from Hinge Marketing’s free e-book download titled, “Inside the Buyer’s Brain” points out several potential misconceptions that B2B sellers might be making. It turns out, B2B buyers are much more concerned about the values, overall fit and business reputation when making buying decisions for their organizations than sellers and B2B marketers realize.
In fact, reputation topped the list both of B2B buyer’s self-reported most important considerations and most influential tipping points when making a buying decision. What’s more, in both cases, sellers did not believe that their organization’s reputation was as important to buyers as it apparently is, and so we thought it might be helpful to provide some B2B marketing ideas based on building a good reputation and using it to grow your organization.
“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be
what you desire to appear.” — Socrates
5 Ways to Build Business with a Good B2B Reputation
1. Does your reputation match up with what you believe it to be – and what you want it to be?
Before setting out to change your reputation or use your good reputation to promote your business, it’s important to define the characteristics that you want to describe the way your brand performs in the marketplace and the greater good that it accomplishes.
Answering questions like these yourself – and asking valued peers, important customers or vendors to weigh in as well – can help you determine what your organization’s reputation is and whether it’s all that you want it to be:
- Does your organization over-deliver on a regular basis? How?
- Do you regularly exceed customer expectations or merely meet them? How?
- What words would you use to describe the brand of your business?
- If you asked clients if there was anything they would change about the quality of your business, what would it be?
- Do you receive complaints? How often? Why?
- If your brand were a person, what words would you want people to use to describe it?
2. Do customer perceptions match up with your B2B Reputation?
Even if clients perceive your organization’s reputation in a positive light, the reasons why they do so might differ from the reputation you want for your organization. Find out what type of reputation you have among your own customers and take steps – if needed – to align customer perceptions with your desired reputational traits.
3. Is your reputation consistent across all marketing channels?
While you may have good marketing collateral and even good word of mouth marketing among your clients, if you don’t monitor your B2B reputation across all channels, you may be missing opportunities or your organization may be being negatively impacted by a bad review or rating, unbeknownst to you. Plus, thanks to the internet, even just one scathing review or poor rating can follow your organization and call your reputation into question, every time you get ready to make a sale.
From Yelp to CitySearch.com to the BBB, there are many sites where customers can rate your business. One of the easy ways to find out if there are any random reviews or ratings that you should address is to simply Google your own business name or your business name in combination with terms like “complaints” or “reviews.” As the internet continues to grow in scope, the role for professional services such as online reputation management and dispute resolutions will continue to grow.
4. Are you leaving it up to your reputation to speak for itself?
Tactics commonly ascribed as marketing or branding can go a long way to establishing and even changing public perception about your business. While you may believe that your good reputation “speaks for itself,” why not give it a little help using social networks, press releases and other content marketing?
Likewise, motivating satisfied customers to leave positive ratings and reviews for your business online can quickly create and enhance your good reputation. Be sure that you are making it easy for customers to leave reviews for your business online, and that you are asking them to do so, especially when you know someone was particularly pleased with some aspect of your performance.
5. Does your performance back up your reputation?
Even the most stellar reputation can be quickly tarnished by a few poor performances or unresolved problems, and no amount of marketing can make up for a bad reputation. Ultimately, the performance of your business must exceed customer expectations and consistently deliver solutions that solve your client’s problems.