Estimated read time: 5 minutes
Small and midsize business owners are among the busiest people around. And the crisis has only made them busier.
Beyond the everyday running of their business, they’re managing transitions (like staff working from home), launching new products and services (for example, rolling out digital offerings) and paying extra attention to their cash flow. You get the picture. They have a lot going on.
What this means: They have even less bandwidth than before COVID, and their attention spans are getting shorter. They have less time to focus on strategy, developing staff and growing the business—and for sure less time for things like researching new products, partaking in product demonstrations and trial offers, product onboarding and dealing with customer support.
As we’ve discussed before, everything you do as a B2SMB brand—your mission, product, marketing and sales—should be centered on helping the SMB run their business. Do this right and new business and lower attrition will happen.
So, as you try to help them, try to save them time.
5 opportunities to save SMBs time
Consider how you can respect your SMB prospects’ and customers’ time at every stage of their buyer journey. Here are best practices for helping them while also giving them time back:
- Produce high-quality content that teaches something new. If your content simply rehashes the same information an SMB owner can find in plenty of other places—and isn’t POV-changing—you’re wasting their time. Period. The only way to create valuable content worth the time it takes to digest it is to use the best subject matter experts, those that deeply understand the topic and can bring new information and perspective.
- Connect the dots with your marketing. You can make it easier on your customers and prospects, and less time-consuming, by being explicitly clear in your marketing and other communications about how your products will achieve the outcomes the SMB is looking for—be it higher levels of productivity or a better experience for their customers. Don’t make them do the work of figuring out how using your product will help them in the everyday running of the business.
- Ask the right sales questions. Your salespeople should approach all conversations in a way that respects prospects’ time and doesn’t focus on product aspects that the prospect already knows about or doesn’t care about. This means asking the right questions that get to the heart of their need. For example, asking a question such as “What problem are you to trying to solve?” can quickly reveal why the SMB feels the product or service you’re offering could benefit them, and the value they see in your product.
- Focus product demos around outcomes. Likewise, any time you provide a product demo or a consultation—call it what you may—make sure that time is well spent driving home how your product or service will deliver the outcomes they care about most. Skip the parts they don’t care about or already know and focus on the ones that will deliver the most value to them.
- Be clear on what your product does—and doesn’t do. Your marketing and messaging should make it very clear exactly what features and capabilities it offers, as well as what it cannot do. (Imagine that.) By giving them as much information as possible, you’re allowing them to quickly assess if your product is right for them—and not wasting their time if it isn’t. You might want to consider offering a free trial for those prospects that want to tinker and try it out, but don’t make this your main call to action. Because at the end of the day, most business owners don’t want to spend time trying out products that may not be a great fit for their needs.
If you believe that helping SMBs is the surefire way for selling to them and keeping their business—and it is—then you have to help them make the most of their time. Respecting their time shows you truly care about them and their business which results in more business for you.