40 Things Your B2B Customers Value Most

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the 30 Things Your Customers Care About Most. I summarized a study that was published in the August 2018 issue of Rotman Magazine where the authors presented “The Elements of Value” model for consumers and for business to business.

That post described the Business to Consumer model while this post summarizes the Business to Business Elements.

The B2B Value Pyramid

According to the authors and their research, there are 40 fundamental building blocks of value in the B2B model. These 40 elements organize nicely into a four level Maslow Hierarchy of Needs pyramid. They are shown in the diagram below and, for the most part, the model is quite easy to follow.

The intent for the B2B business is not to provide value in every one of the 40 elements. Rather, it is to provide value in as many of the elements as makes sense. Obviously, the Table Stakes layer must be met in order for you to stay in business. You must be ethical, meet specifications, comply with regulations, and have an acceptable price point.

Beyond this layer, where and how can you add value to your B2B customers in a way that differentiates you?

Seven Ways to Leverage Value Elements Into Your B2B Model

There are quite a few ways that you can leverage this model in your business (note that many of these points are similar to the B2C model.) Here are seven ideas for you to consider:

  1. Make a point of talking with a different customer everyday. Get to know them and understand their business.
  2. Ask your customers how you can better add value. Do this directly in your daily talks with them and leverage social media, surveys, product follow-ups, etc.
  3. Educate your staff on these value elements and ensure everyone understands how important these elements are to you and to the customer!
  4. Hold regular value strategy sessions with your staff to:
    • Glean ideas that they may have picked up from their customer interactions
    • Communicate and reinforce the elements that you are currently delivering
    • Strategize how you can further bolster your existing value element position
  5. Always strive to reinforce the value that you are adding in every interaction.
  6. It almost goes without saying, but DO NOT compromise the value that you add. It takes a lifetime to create a brand but one incident can destroy it!
  7. Understand that you may have different groupings of customers or stakeholders and that you may provide different values to these groupings. This is important as companies like Amazon have multiple customer segments that value different things.

Take Action

Take a few moments this week and define the value building blocks that you provide to your B2B customers. Which of the 40 elements are you leveraging? Are there some obvious elements that you need to add to your product or service offering?

Then review each of the seven ways to leverage the elements into your B2B model above. Are these seven things working well inside your business? If not, what actions do you need to take today to get this going?

Finally, review these additional articles for more information:

 

Now, if you want to get rich, you have only to produce a product or service that will give people greater ‘use value’ than the price you charge for it.” Earl Nightingale

 


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