More threads by Garrett Sussman

Mar 15, 2016
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Mapping the Local Online Review Strategy That Every B2B Needs


B2B companies are in trouble.

New customers can?t tell you and your competition apart. It?s a component the vast majority of B2B companies struggle with. Then, to magnify the problem, the vast majority of B2B companies have little to no reviews.

If you?re a B2B company, that?s devastating, here?s why.

You?re an expert, your customers are not.

Well, that?s pretty obvious.

Why would they need you if they were the experts? They clearly wouldn?t, they?d solve their problem themselves. Here?s why this is such a serious problem.

Customers can?t evaluate your B2B company

They?re not experts.

Most of the time they?re not even remotely familiar with your company?s area of expertise.

This lack of expertise makes them vulnerable.

Customers are smart, they know they?re likely to get fleeced if they make the wrong choice. So they try to hedge their bets. They focus on?

  • Reviews
  • Case studies
  • Price
  • Availability
  • Prestige
  • Control
  • Location

Customers search for anything they can to minimize their risk. Their focus isn?t necessarily success; often times it?s eliminating and avoiding pain.

You won?t eliminate customer pain if?

You?re missing an online review strategy.

That?s because the details B2B customers focus their attention on aren?t necessarily the most important. Believe it or not, customers want the same basic things from you (most of the time).

1. Trust. B2B Customers want validation, social proof stating you?re a safe choice to work with. They want to know you?ll always act in their best interest even if it hurts you.

2. Authority in the B2B space is incredibly important. B2B customers want to work with experts, leaders in their fields. If they can attract experts at a bargain, even better.

3. Less risk. Choosing the wrong company can be devastating. A bad decision can cost decision makers their jobs, ruin careers and erode profits. Customers in this space are terrified of making the wrong decision and they look to you to reduce risk.

4. In-group favoritism. B2B customers want to see that you?re part of their group, that you share the same values and approach they do. Customers use what they see to make inferences about your values and whether you?re like them.

B2B companies are run by people. An online review strategy gives these people, your customers, the things they need to feel comfortable working with your business.

Sharing these details with customers gives them confidence.

How do you get B2B prospects to trust you?

When they?re first introduced to you they look for social proof signals, 3rd party sources to vouch for your business? credibility. They search on Google, browse through LinkedIn and troll review sites looking for reviews.

Bad news, if you don?t have what they want.

When you?re missing these factors, it becomes difficult for customers to choose one company over another.

An online review strategy gives your customers confidence.

You?re able to differentiate yourself from the competition in a way that matters to customers. Customers receive the things they need to choose your B2B company over a competitor.

It?s a win/win right?

Sort of.

It all depends on whether your B2B company has the right online review strategy in place.


What does a profitable online review strategy look like?

Andrew goes on to lay out a step by step strategy for building an online review portfolio and using it to your advantage as a B2B company. Read the full post here.

What's your B2B review strategy?

Awesome Garrett! I've always wondered why we never talk B2B They need local too! So once again another great topic!

Do any if you work with B2B? Tell us about it. I'd like to see if we can get a good discussion going around this before I share on social tomorrow.
Thanks Linda! I wonder to what extent everyone focuses primarily on Google and FB reviews, or if they have industry sites they prioritize as well.

I know here at find a ton of value via and (software review sites that are primarily B2B).

And I know that for Agencies, is a great channel.
Nobody has worked with B2B clients? Why do you think that is? They need local too right?

FYI Garrett I'll have to wait to share tomorrow. The hotel won't let me connect to WIFI and can't get to Twitter from phone for some reason. I'll be back tomorrow tho.
No worries, Linda! I still am surprised more hotels don't provide better (and free) wifi.

I know there are a lot of consultants and agencies on this forum. I'd be curious how many are acquiring reviews on google or clutch for their business, let alone their clients.
Ya free WiFi but their network did.not.even show up for me and the password they gave me for another WiFi connection was wrong and they had NO clue. Off to help family with.packing but should be able to peek in and share tomorrow AM.
Every industry definitely has their own review sites that are important. For the wedding vendors I work with, Wedding Wire and the Knot are the two big sites, along with Google, Facebook, and Yelp. They're especially important if the client's doing (or planning to do) any paid advertising using either site, but they're also important from a barnacle SEO perspective too. Often those profiles are what show page one for a branded keyword for the client. Those sites usually generate at least a few leads here and there just on their own too, so it's worth it making a decent showing there.

For my own business, putting testimonials and reviews in my sales materials has been what's most effective, so I haven't been bothering to gather them on review sites... just manually collecting reviews for feedback and salescopy. Any B2B company already doing that though can easily shift to gathering reviews on Google or Facebook or whatever's appropriate for their industry, so it's definitely good to think strategically and re-evaluate the review gathering process they're using.
You bring up a lot of great points, James. The other day, Jon and I were talking about the value of industry review sites, since they have that hyper targeted audience. Those visitors are highly qualified leads.

That's an interesting point about using reviews and testimonials in your sales copy. Do you get your prospects mostly via word of mouth, digitally inbound, outbound campaigns, or a healthy mix of everything?

I'd imagine that the testimonials in the sales copy are effective for both warm leads and cold pitches.
I built up my little community with Facebook paid ads mostly. Nothing impressive, but it's big enough to keep me supplied with clients, so it's good enough for now.

I'm not really a writer, but I've been involved with enough sales projects to see how important of a tool they are for helping to drive conversions, even if you're just talking about print pieces in direct mail. A really amazing, specific review is just about one of the best sales tools you can get in my opinion.

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