Choosing to sell your products or services internationally can be very exciting, but it is worth understanding the differences between selling to these very different audiences before you start, to ensure you are fully prepared for the unique challenges of each. This quick, at-a-glance guide will help you check you are considering the most important aspects of selling, whether you are selling to other businesses, consumers or retailers.
Take a look at the key differences between each type of selling, and get yourself off to a flying start with your e-commerce journey.
Top tips for B2B selling
Many people incorrectly assume that selling to businesses must be extremely formal and corporate. However, that is not the case. Remember that behind every organisation is a team of real people, and connecting on a more personal level can help establish long-lasting professional relationships which could lead to repeat business and recommendations. B2B selling will also see you dealing in high-value contracts, so identify your most valuable accounts and ensure you check in with them regularly to find out about any new opportunities to enable efficient account mining. As well as this, it is important that you fully understand the B2B selling processes, such as preparing tenders and proposals and securing spots on preferred supplier lists. Remember to factor in enough time to follow the process correctly, and approach any third parties whose input you may require ahead of time to give them a chance to respond.
Top tips for B2C selling
Selling to consumers is very different to selling to other businesses. Firstly, it is primarily about volume selling – selling as much as possible. If you are selling online, a great e-commerce website should allow customers to take care of themselves, so make the process as easy as possible for them to maximise sales. You should also consider where your customers ‘live’ online, particularly on social media. Established platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are popular choices for B2C selling with their large existing networks, while newer channels such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat are useful for targeting younger demographics. As well as this, think about how you will gain the trust of your audience – people tend to trust their peers, so think about setting up profiles on review sites, collecting testimonials and featuring your work on trusted marketplaces to reassure new customers.
Top tips for selling to retailers
Selling to retailers can be challenging, but the rewards can be significant if you get it right, so it is worth doing your research. Start off with a list of your ideal retailers, and don’t be afraid to aim high – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. But if you are an inexperienced pitcher, think about starting off by practising with a few smaller retailers where the stakes are lower. This gives you a chance to try out your elevator pitch and see what piques buyers’ attention – and you never know, you could make your first sale in this process! Also ensure you are contacting the right person. LinkedIn is a useful tool for this, where you can pinpoint who does what within your target organisations. Whoever you decide to approach about selling your products, it is vital that you seek legal advice beforehand to ensure your intellectual property is protected, and that you know your rights.
Whether you decide to sell to other businesses, to consumers or to retailers, entering the process prepared will help you hit the ground running. For a more detailed look at each of these selling scenarios, why not read our top tips for B2B selling, top tips for B2C selling and top tips for selling to retailers articles?