By : Christopher Blackwell - 30.06.2017
The 3 Most Outstanding Ways To Influence Buyer Behaviour
As in B2C a few years before, B2B buyer behavior has changed forever as they have gone online, mobile and even social. Today, buyers start their journey online and have completed more than two thirds of their journey before they even speak with a seller. This results in buyers being much more educated, much more informed and aware of the options available to them. Below is an article written by Ago Cluytens as well as a video that explains this very well.
The number one reason why buyers choose one firm over another is because the seller educated them with new ideas and perspectives.
1. Collaborate with your buyer.
But the number two reason is: because the seller collaborated with them. In other words, they made a significant contribution to the conversation. Buyers and sellers developed these new ideas and perspectives together, rather than laying them on the buyer and saying, “You know what? Here is the holy gospel. This is what I believe you should do.”
Taking a collaborative approach where you help the buyer sharpen their thinking, think through the different options, identify the potential risks and pitfalls, and together construct the best approach moving forward is definitely the way to go today.
2. Help them help themselves.
Another great way for helping the buyer along is to help them build a business case and help them make the internal sale.
This process also revolves almost entirely around collaboration. Most sellers see “developing the business case” as a process where they cook up some ROI model in a spreadsheet, and then come in and present that to the buyer.
Savvy sellers know it’s about understanding and developing an opinion of the factors, drivers, monetary and non-monetary elements – and how to combine them. Then, it’s about developing some intelligent scenarios together in terms of what a potential investment and return may look like. But doing it together, not in isolation.
Keep in mind that in today’s world, most buyers don’t have a set budget. They’ll have funds they can tap into, but rarely if ever are those allocated to something specific like the product or service that you might be selling. Rather than developing fancy ROI spreadsheets, your job is to help your buyer build the business case and help them sell it internally to their constituents.
3. Act like a valued advisor (not a salesperson).
Probably the biggest shift I have seen, in terms of what makes sellers successful in the post-recession, post-2007/2008 world is that most sellers today who are successful act like consultants – not sellers.
In other words, they adopt a collaborative approach from the start, working with their buyers towards a joint goal. I know this sounds quaint and perhaps even a little cliché, but it’s really taking that approach of “us versus the problem”, rather than “you versus me”.
Think collaboration, not confrontation. Help your buyer build a business case together and make the internal sales to their constituents, to their peers, to their management team. And finally, think and act like a consultant first, and a seller second. Three practical, easy-to-implement yet powerful ideas to help you influence buyer behaviour.