B2C sales and marketing entities have long recognized the need to connect the brand with the consumer’s ego and sense of self. If you can cultivate a brand or specific product that makes consumers feel better about themselves, the battle for the purchase decision is practically won (and price sensitivity is greatly reduced)! Brands like Starbucks® and Apple® are champions at this.
In contrast, the role of customer ego has historically been overlooked in B2B sales, in favor of the business benefits of our solution – most often some combination of improved growth, profitability and efficiency – delivered to the customer organization. Certainly, these are key considerations for B2B sales, but to overlook the emotional needs of individual purchase decision makers is to miss key opportunities for sales advantage and differentiation.
Next time you are mapping out the Features, Advantages and Benefits of your product/service for a client organization, take the time to run through the same process relative to your key contact’s personal benefit. How will this purchase make his/her life easier or make this individual look good to his/her boss and peers? How might this purchase make the individual customer feel smarter, cooler or more successful? What might this purchase decision say about his/her level of sophistication, relevance or thought leadership?
Taking extra time and thought to add this personal dimension to your solution will help you build personal relationships and cultivate advocates within the client organization. And with purchase committees becoming more and more common, cultivating fans within the client organization has become more essential to our sales success. At the end of the day, companies don’t buy products and services; people do. We’ve all heard that familiar saying, now we just need to start living it!