4 Things You Need to Know About B2B Buying Decisions

By Bob Apollo

qimono / Pixabay

If you think it’s hard to sell, you might want to spare a thought for your potential customers: depending on which research you look at, the majority (around 2-in-3) of their buying decision processes end with them deciding to do nothing at all, and sticking with the status quo.

There is, of course, a connection between our challenges as sales people and our prospective customers’ challenges in reaching a consensus about whether they really need to change and, if so, what they need to change to and which solution represents their best available option.

If you’re determined to do a better job of assessing and influencing your prospect’s intentions, here are 4 key things you need to know about how buying decisions are actually made…

1: Status Quo Bias

According to research into buying behaviours by the Nobel-prize winning behavioural economist and psychologist Daniel Kahneman and referred to in a range of publications including the “Three Value Conversations”, if your customers lack a compelling reason to change, they are likely to decide to stick with the status quo.

This is closely connected with a concept that I introduced in an earlier article: the pyramid of pain. Whilst interesting needs may to set off an investigation, and whilst important needs are likely to trigger a detailed investigation, only truly critical needs are guaranteed to force an organisation into action.

The implication for sales: if, as I do, you see sales as fundamentally an exercise in change management, then we must carefully assess whether our customer’s current pains are so significant that they outweigh the risks that are always associated with any new initiative.

If they are not currently significant enough to drive action, then we need to see whether we can amplify the pain by introducing previously unconsidered implications that make action inevitable. Our goal must be to get the prospect to the point where they believe that the pain of same significantly outweighs the pain of change.

2: Loss Aversion

On a closely related topic, Kahneman also discovered through a series of cleverly designed experiments that people (and by extension the organisations they work for) are twice as strongly motivated by the drive to avoid a loss as they are by the opportunity to achieve a gain.

In other words, the fear of failure is much more powerful in these circumstances than the hope of success. This finding, in particular, challenges conventional sales behaviours that typically seem focused on promoting a positive vision of the future rather than helping the customer to see the risks in where they are today.

The implication for sales: we’ve got to get used to spending much more time deeply diagnosing and exploring our customer’s current situation and developing the consequences and risks of inaction before we give in to the temptation to promote our solution and the benefits it could bring to the customer.

If we can then connect the negative consequences of sticking with the status quo with the positive benefits of adopting our solution, and if we help Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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