How online dating is driving the future of B2B relationships….
At first glance it really doesn’t seem that B2B (Business-to-Business) relationships and dating have much in common, but get in for a closer look and the matchup is spot-on. The B2B world is changing and at a rapid pace as senior executives begin to retire and pass the torch onto the younger generations, specifically Generation X and the Millennials.
So how is this generational shift impacting the B2B world and the way we conduct business?
For starters, Millennials and Generation X want everything readily available at their fingertips and have little patience. These two generations consistently want to push the envelope and accomplish more than ever before, in even less time. It’s all about efficiency, automation, accuracy and access to an overabundance of data.
I’m personally part of Generation X and I am surrounded by Millennials in my office, I also spent the last decade surrounded by the old school executives who are beginning to leaving the workforce. The future is clear as can be, the generational shift is in full force and the changes are going to be drastic. The status quo is being challenged daily and no longer will we be doing something, simply because that’s the way it has always been done or my favorite little gem of old school executive wisdom “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!”
So this brings me right into B2B lead generation and developing relationships. The current lead generation model is stale, while receiving a periodic facelift with a new marketing tactic here and there. We still get on the phone and hammer away calls, send emails, mail marketing literature, do targeted data driven web ads and any other method we can think of to capture the buyer’s attention. However, this is a very self-serving model that is heavily weighted to benefitting the vendor.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking these methods and they will never go away. I’m just saying there has to be a better way, an addition that will improve on the status quo and provide an avenue of mutual benefit to both vendors & buyers. You know, something a little like the big dating sites, something that will connect you at a higher level before you ever decide to speak.
Dating websites got it right, it’s about satisfying both parties and making sure everyone benefits from the connection. All successful relationships are mutual & giving, not self-serving, and let’s be clear that business is all about relationships. No one buys from someone they don’t like, you need to be able to envision yourself dealing with this vendor for a long time or at least the duration of your contract. Yet with this being so obvious, the lead generation industry has ignored this and put all its efforts toward pandering to the vendor. Why? Because the vendors are spending money with them.
Since the business world is shifting to the next generation, we need to shift the way we operate and accommodate the decision makers of tomorrow. The great news is that we know how they operate, just take a look at some of the dating website statistics. Nearly 60% of the $2.2 billion dollar dating industry are Millennials and Generation X.
Listen, I’m not claiming to be a charity or not-for-profit by calling out the lead generation industry’s vendor centric focus, I just figured out a way to do what’s right for everyone. I am able to save both buyers and vendors time, money & resources and still make money. It’s a Win! Win! Win!
Check out SocialQualified to see how this concept is being put into action!