According to a recent survey conducted by Buyersphere, although B2B buyers are, of course, interested in getting the best price for a product or service, there are many other factors that affect their purchasing decisions.
With that in mind, I recently read a useful article over on the B2B Marketing website that explored some of the lass tangible factors that can affect that all-important final decision. So, what does your buyer really really want from you?
Someone who communicates well
People like to buy from people, not faceless corporations. This means that the suppliers who communicate effectively and spend time building 1:1 relationships are the ones who'll be most successful at winning new business – which is where social media can be particularly useful.
The Buyersphere report found that these communication factors actually made more of an impact than price: suppliers who show that they understand the buyer's needs; suppliers who respond quickly with quality information; suppliers who communicate more frequently; suppliers who use email more effectively.
Someone who understands them
As well as business needs, the individual buyer will also have needs and motivations of their own. Understand their pain points, their persona, and how you can meet their specific challenges, before tailoring your communication in line with this information. This will make you stand out from the competition.
Someone who reassures them
Buyers are often anxious when making a purchasing decision that could affect their working life, as one bad move could impact their reputation, credibility or even their career. This makes them incredibly averse to risk, so they'll navigate towards the supplier who shows that they are reliable and is able to put their mind at ease. Confidence in the supplier was one of the most important factors involved in the purchasing decision. The old saying, "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM" rings as true today as it's ever done, at least in terms of the principle that underpins it.
Someone who is similar to them
Cultural fit is also incredibly important, as B2B relationships are, hopefully, for the medium to long term. Therefore big brands tend to feel most comfortable dealing with other big brands, creative types want to work with other creative types etc.
As far as possible then, it makes sense to try to match your target client's approach in your tone, style and communications. This is not to say that you should pretend to be something you’re not. But, just as you dress differently depending on the type of event you’re attending or people you’ll be meeting, so you can adapt your marketing and communications approach to fit the profile of your target buyer.