Simplify the complex B2B sale by selling to the buyer’s motivation for buying

The inability to speak the respective buyer’s language just prolongs the sale or loses it altogether.

Customize your product’s value argument across the organization’s hierarchy. This is an indispensable ingredient for success in the business-to-business (B2B) sale. The B2B sale is one where an organization sells to another organization.  For instance, an engineering firm selling a packaging plant to a manufacturer. The opposite of B2B is business to customer (B2C). Where, say, a bank sells an account to an individual. Now then. The B2B sale is a complex one. This is because, unlike the B2C one, the decision making in the B2B is not by an individual. It is a unit- a group of individuals. And each of them is ‘selfishly’ motivated and measures success differently.

Read: Use the power of reframing as a catalyst for sales success.

Localize don’t standardize

Therefore, if you standardize your presentation across the hierarchy you are guaranteed abject frustration, and most certainly losing the sale. You’ll be frustrated because you will not understand why their technical expert bought into every bit of your torque, resistor, drawdown, 5mbps and other jargon. Any yet, their financial manager looked irritated with the same pitch. And, if you remembered to talk cost-savings to him, be warned. You will be a perfect case for frustration-induced cardiac arrest if you repeat the cost pitch to the head of human resource. Yet the software, being bought is intended for her department. She likely will be sold to how it feeds into the policy and procedures of the organization. And is approved by the governing body as preferred to enabling compliance with the labour laws.

Pitch gain to pain

As for the CEO, he’ll likely be interested in your credibility, the return on investment, or enhanced operational efficiency. Naturally, the sales director will be motivated by one thing-numbers. Something else. The higher up the hierarchy you go, the less time you have to pitch. It makes sense therefore to establish the respective buyer’s pain ahead to pitching to him his gain.

Here’s more. Telling the CEO that reconciliations are not being done will just serve to irritate him because it’s an operational, not strategic, matter. “Why are you telling me this?” he’ll likely retort. “Get someone to do it!” If, however, you told him that there are financial irregularities, now you have tuned into his frequency. You have his attention.

Workers vs Executive

There’s more. At a foods factory, a Safety Manager wants surgical gloves and hair nets bought for use by the factory workers. He needs these to ensure hygiene is observed. However he need only tell the workers, “You must put these on,” and remind them their jobs depend on it. However, to tune into ‘Executive-FM’ he is best placed to start with, “Safety is being compromised at the factory.” This way, he focuses on what matters most to Executive. In this case, organizational values and operational risk. Interestingly enough, this same pitch to Procurement is best skewed to whether the vendor supplying the gloves is pre-approved and if three quotations were obtained.

The inability to speak the respective buyer’s language just prolongs the sale or loses it altogether.


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