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Smb One-Stop Shop, Want, Need, Or Myth?

I think every SMB would agree that if you are selling a product or commodity becoming the single point of contact for your customer is the ultimate goal. But in reality how realistic is that? 

We know that a customer using one supplier is really not practical for them and definitely not in the best interest of their wallets and we know because the same applies to us as a buyer and suppliers. 

Look at it this way, we all go to Walmart right, but why?  

Because we can buy our Groceries, get a new laptop, and buy a t-shirt in the same place. The prices are decent and it’s convenient.  Having said that, if best buy has a better deal this week, as inconvenient as it might be to go down the street to BestBuy we do it because the savings sometimes makes more sense. 

So one stop shopping isn’t financially responsible, but it is both a business and consumer goal. So what is an SMB to do?

I say, “If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em”

What if we simply came to grips with the fact that our customers were going to use the competition? What if we took the approach that we were going to help our clients not only by providing them what they needed but also paying for and providing them with a solution to do it more effectively and efficiently?   

Why would I do that? That’s the next question, right? 

Again let’s take it back to you. 

If you have ever bought a car from the same car dealer more than once, chances are price wasn’t the only reason you went back the second time. The sales person or that dealership likely did something different to help you remember them. Maybe they were even located inside an auto mall, why did you go back?  Whatever they did, they supplied you with something that made you remember them, and made you give them another shot at your business.  

S.E.I – Supplier enabled innovation

Likely it wasn’t something innovative, but as a B2B supplier, it could be.  What if you could offer your client some sort of innovative way to improve their process and simultaneously allow you to connect with them more regularly? What if this innovation made it easier for them not only internally but also to contact, connect and send you and your team quotes?

That car dealership differentiated themselves and gained a second car buy from you, what are you doing for the customers that will differentiate you and provide them with the same feeling, and result in more opportunity for you?

Maybe there is a one-stop shop scenario that makes sense, maybe you can provide them with one platform to connect with their entire supplier base and make sending RFQ’s easier, maybe this platform could be paid for by the suppliers so that customers don’t have the added expense? 

That would be a great supplier value-add if it existed.

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