Before I started working with B2B (Business to Business) sales I worked a lot with B2C (Business to Consumer) selling.
There is a big difference.
I have written a lot about the sales process, the buying process, about understanding your customers and so on. And while that does apply in B2C sales, it doesn’t in the same way as in B2B selling.
When you call someone at their job, they do feel that it is their job to listen to your offer and see if it can help their business.
When they are at home, you are just disturbing. You don’t often get the time to do a thorough needs analysis. When working with people at home, it is important to be short and to the point.
It is often about quantity rather than quality, which is the reason most companies will hire students for B2C sales.
I remember when I, while still studying in high school, got my first sales job. My job was to get people to come to seminars about investing. The seminars were free and we even offered free food.
I was given a script to pitch the customers that took all but 35 seconds to read. The goal was to make the close within 3 minutes and than speak to the customer for 15 minutes after the close, to make sure the prospect actually showed up.
For me this was the best start of a sales career I can picture. I learned that tempo was of the utmost importance and learned to call about 100 people/hour. I also learned to become friends with people over the phone, people I never had met and only spoke to for about 5 minutes.
One of my fondest memories of my time working in B2C was a librarian who chose to go to one of the seminars. After she had written the date in her calender we started talking. For the next 45 minutes she told me about the differences between the different libraries in town and how their architecture made every one unique.
This is something I have used a lot in my B2B sales. I have really learned to bond with people I have known for 10 minutes.