If it is not the best price, what does your Buyer really want from you?
A recent Buyersphere survey revealed that although B2B buyers say they are looking for the best price, they end up making a decision based on a number of other factors that often outrank price.
A major influence is the personal implications of making a poor B2B purchasing decision. Buyers don’t want to risk harming their career or their reputation, so whilst they often roll out the company line about price, they actually want Suppliers that can perform and more importantly add value.
As marketers or salespeople, we need to understand all the factors that may influence a buying decision.
Generally, B2B buyers will make a list of essential qualifying criteria that the product or service needs to meet. However, there are a number of other factors that will influence a final decision; some of which the Buyer may not even realise themselves.
1. I want a supplier who can communicate well
People buy from people, so Suppliers that communicate well and can build good relationships are more successful in winning new business.
Buyers surveyed revealed that the following factors are more important than the lowest price:
- Suppliers who show a good understanding of my needs
- Suppliers who respond more quickly with better quality of information
- Suppliers who providing more frequent communication
- Suppliers who use email more effectively
Communication is precisely why there will always be a role to play for salespeople and telemarketing. The power of human interaction – whether face-to-face or by phone – in building trust and demonstrating understanding and knowledge cannot be underestimated.
2. I Want to Work With Someone Who Understands Me
A buying decision is not only made on the needs of the business; the motivations and needs of an individual Buyer are very important. Understanding the individual’s pain points or aspirations and tailoring your communications to show how your solution can help will put you above your competitors in the supplier evaluation.
A good way to do this is to develop buyer personas to provide clarity on who the person is you are communicating with, what their needs and challenges are and how best to address these.
An example of the benefit of developing personas for your Buyers is that you can start to develop a different tone of voice for communications to these different personas; not just use a single corporate-style of messaging.
3. I Want a Supplier Who Puts My Mind at Ease
The impact that a buying decision can have on an individual in their working life is considerable. Buyers are keen to realise benefits that help them in their job or make their life easier, but they are acutely aware of the risks if a purchase decision goes wrong. A bad decision could damage their credibility and status within the organisation or even put their career in jeopardy.
These risks make B2B buyers highly cautious and risk-averse. It explains why reliability is such a key desired attribute of an ideal supplier, but also why confidence in the supplier and buying the best product overtakes all other factors when it comes to the suppliers that are actually selected.
4. I Want a Supplier Who Is Like Me
B2B purchases usually involve a medium to long-term working relationship, and so cultural fit is extremely important. Creative brands want to deal with other creative brands; big businesses want to deal with other big businesses. If your typical customer is highly professional and corporate in approach, you should aim to match this in your communications, tone, branding and sales conversations.
To businesses price will always be important. However, few Buyers select the cheapest option.