The heart has its reasons… Credibility and trust in B2B

Collaboration – 6 March 2014

Despite the sales and marketing process adapted to the complex sales cycle, it happens that an opportunity escapes you for reasons beyond your control. The mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal once said that “the heart has its reasons that reason does not know”. Although its true meaning is little known, its popular interpretation works well in the context of a decision taken during the purchase process.

Your sales force has validated with the prospect, its BANT (Budget, Authority, the Need and the Timing for the decision). The stars are aligned; your prospect has the mandate to carry out the project. He continues to tell you that everything is going well, and that he is happy with the proposal.

At the last moment, a dramatic twist in plot; the project is abandoned, postponed, or simply brought back internally. What happened? The heart of the ultimate decision maker swung and you don’t know for what reason, or the response is that of “campaigning issues”.

The complex sales process stops often at the last moment because you don’t treat concluding issues of the last decision maker, the economic and political buyer. Namely: why he buys and why you. This differs greatly from your prospect at the beginning of the relationship, which is more interested in the “How does it work? ”question.

Why and why you?

Too often, the answer comes in a rational manner to the “why?”question .  It is not about the technical aspects but rather about the business relationship. You need to answer “why you? ”.  It’s here where you must assert elements that your client will trust.

Trust is earned. Defend your references, provide client testimonials, and deliver evidence of credibility such as a our-work, case studies or offer meetings with selected clients.

In short, the purchaser must be satisfied that he not only has the best technical solution in hand but that he has the best supplier before him. The buyer wishes to minimize his risk, he seeks answers to his concerns and manages his emotions relating to an important business decision.

One cannot push on a string

If you lose your sale to the hands of a competitor, please feel free to ask your prospect what has tipped the scale. Aside from pricing issues and technical aspects, investigate what elements have influenced him, and what gave him confidence in the competition.

If he simply decides not to go forward, you have not really lost. From experience, we cannot go against a decision maker who hesitates. Statistically, he will do nothing or he will do with what he already has. Wait until he is ready, and keep in touch.

If he does choose your offer, there is a safe bet that he will probably have second thoughts about his purchase during the implementation and will not be a promoter of your product or service in the future. Maybe better to have not completed the sale in this case.

References that make a difference

In summary, during your sales process, pay attention to the emotional elements related to the purchase. Be prepared to respond to the concerns of the prospect with information that will comfort him: client testimonials, case studies, our-work, and exchanges with reference clients . Use them strategically. This will increase your sales and your success rate.

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