Getting to grips with the buyer’s business model is one of the most valuable ways to ensure your quote or service offer matches their needs. It will also help with forming a picture of which of your ‘buyer personas’ corresponds to them, so you can identify what priorities they have at an early stage.
There are two parts to this; first, the main business model, and second, the business model of their power consumption. Because their power consumption model will integrate with their primary activities, an understanding of the former will assist in identifying which services are most valuable to them.
Some businesses will prioritize reliable supply or green credentials above cost, while others will be more cost-driven or have more room for speculative hedging strategies.
The focus at this stage is to identify a core set of ‘basic’ services that are essential to their business model, and to build on that in future discussions. Once your customer is happy with their most basic service requirements they will see additional services as less risky, and the opportunities for up- and cross-selling are increased.
Too much information, too early on can be confusing and put potential customers off before a contract is signed.
Business energy buyers typically sit at different stages of development in their energy business model, some having a strategy already in place and others needing guidance on the most basic services. Your role as their consultant and advisor will be key in ‘reeling them in’.
This analysis of the customer situation brings insight in two main areas:
- - The customer’s primary energy service need (right now)
- - Identification of potential needs in the future
The best way to get this information is through an interview, however there can be other ways to start gathering information (like web/contact forms, structured surveys, interactions at trade shows etc.), and this can help to form and refine buyer personas as well as offering quotes that make sense to the customer and reflect their needs.
Although buyers are strongly guided by prices, your services must clearly meet their needs at the earliest stage of interaction, otherwise you are unlikely to be considered – even if you are offering the best price.