For B2B companies, most buying is about covering their butts

Want to know what makes prospects buy from someone else, even when you’re positive your company’s product or service is perfect for them?

It’s because the rational, step-by-step model for the B2B buying process companies have come to know is busted, says a new EnquiroResearch.com study.

“99% of B2B buying is about covering your butt,” say the authors of the study of 3,000 business buyers.

In other words, B2B buying has become about minimizing personal and organizational risks – and today’s economy has magnified this new risk-avoiding buying behavior.

How can companies create a lower-risk environment for prospects that boosts sales and generates more revenue?

Match prospects with happy customers that had similar “risk factors.” Rather than provide a reference from a customer that’s been with your company for 10 years, have prospects talk to customers that made their “blank slate purchase” (one where the buyer had no prior experience with your company) within the last year.

Another idea: Get references from all the people involved in the referring customer’s decision to buy and give them to those in the same role at the prospect’s company.

Become an “approved vendor.” An approved vendor is always a low-risk vendor. How can a company get on an “approved vendor” list?

Create a relationship with a teaser offer (e.g., a free trial, money back guarantee, etc.). It lowers the risk of getting started. Small interactions like this build trust.

Direct buyers to good word-of-mouth. Positive word-of-mouth is hugely influential in risk aversion.

If prospects have any doubts about converting, consider linking them to content (industry/customer reviews, blogs, etc.) that speaks well of your products or services.

For more background, download the first white paper from Enquiro’s B2B Expert Series Mapping the BuyerSphere.”

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