How To Keep Your B2B Relationships Engaged When Events Are Not Happening

B2B events, conferences, and tradeshows are one of the most important sources of B2B leads. In fact, on average, 60% of the companies’ total marketing budget is allocated to events. However, the 2019 pandemic brought this to a near halt. What can marketers then do to both – generate leads and also keep the relationships engaged in current times? Here are some of our recommendations.

Keep in Touch Virtually

Many B2B organizations have already begun to take their shows, events, and conferences online. This will not only deepen existing relationships but also create opportunities for generating leads from across the globe. After all, prospects can be anywhere and when the events are in the digital world, people who find your product or service relevant can join in – no matter what part of the globe they are in. You can:

  • Look for opportunities for a speaker’s slot at a popular conference so that you can promote your organization
  • Network more, post questions, share trends, reply to queries on groups, and others on professional sites like LinkedIn so that your existing relationships start to recognize you are an industry leader
  • Hold video-conferencing sessions with smaller groups where your face and the faces of the participants can be seen. This builds a bond and shows you’re genuinely interested in your clients. Al
    so, this will give you the chance to address their issues and queries in greater depth
  • Host webinars where you discuss topics that are trending and are interesting
  • Use chatbots on your website. This will not only help in improving the engagement but you will also be able to gather more data which will help you to analyze buying insights better

Connect with the Prospects From Previous Events

If you have been using the popular business card scanner app, ScanBizCards, you would already have a comprehensive lead database where all information about your clients is stored. You can use this to get in touch with your prospects and clients casually. After all, the pandemic has taught businesses a big lesson – everything is not just about profits and growth; people matter. These interactions should not be about business but more to find out what they are doing if their families are fine, and if your organization could help them in any way.

  • You should get in touch with your relationships from time to time in a casual manner.
  • You can share pictures of how your employees are working from home, the ways that you are helping your staff during this difficult time, and any online fun events that you might have hosted for your employees. You could even ask your team to write/blog about their experiences. When these are shared on social media, clients and prospects are able to identify with your brand better.

When clients get to talk to you in a casual manner, they would not only bond better with you, but they would also begin to associate your business as one that comes with the human touch. Also, when you hold such conversations, often you will get to know a lot more about the buyer, which will help you when, say, you devise your marketing strategy or plan a new product offering.

Clean Up Records of Your Contacts

You might have a comprehensive database of contacts. However, there may be leads or your sleeping clients who you haven’t touched base with for a long time. Don’t just forget about them. Try and re-establish contact with them. They may be interested in your offering now more than ever (if your offering is even more relevant in the current times). Always make sure to keep your leads database updated in case some of the contact information has changed. For example, their designation, or even where they work. Either way, you will get their latest information which you should update in your records accordingly.

CircleBack is a great free app that lets you do that very accurately and you can keep your contact records updated both on your iOS and on your Android phones.

If you find that there is important data that is unavailable, you can conduct survey campaigns to collect such information.

Encourage Your Team To Be Your Brand Advocates

You should encourage everyone to be brand advocates for your product/service. Not just your sales and marketing teams, but other teams such as tech, IT, and human resources can also share your company’s social media posts, blogs, etc. in their network to maximize outreach and spread the word about how you are working as a brand with your customers and employees.

Focus on Value and Not on Price

If you want to build on your B2B relationship, then you should focus on what value-added services you are offering rather than on the price. This should get reflected in your marketing message and in the way you position your product/service. For instance, focus on why your offering would solve the client’s challenges. Added to this:

  • Never try to hard-sell a new offering or even an existing one to your clients
  • If your clients have a low response to your customer survey emails or are giving you negative feedback about your product or brand or a certain feature, not addressing their concern could mean that you might lose the client and goodwill in the market. Get in touch with such clients and address their pain points, together with telling why your product would be of value to them and what you can do to overcome limitations.

Concluding Thoughts

A lot of businesses have continued to grow despite the pandemic because they have stayed focused on quality and relevance. However, many businesses have become irrelevant and perished. Tactics that worked in the past might not work in current times. So, focus on only those segments that come with the best potential for conversion. More importantly, now is when you should focus on your existing clientele even more and help them face the current challenges. Show them that your brand comes with a soul. Your business might be growing slowly now, but keep your focus on your B2B relationships. After all, customer retention is what will fuel your organization’s growth engine.