What role do emotional factors play in B2B business?
The B2B business world often gives a rational impression. Buyers and sellers seem to make decisions primarily on the basis of numbers, leaving emotional criteria behind. But is this buying behavior really true? Or do emotional criteria also creep into a B2B purchase decision?
The online study "State of B2B 2019: Winning with Emotion" by B2B International and gyro provides answers to these questions. With the help of 2,000 corporate decision-makers in Europe, China and the USA, it collected data on the (emotional) decision-making of buyers in the business-to-business sector and its background. Starting with the first exclusion criteria of potential suppliers, she accompanies buyers in their choice of a new trading partner and describes the factors that become important in different phases of this process. What relevant role the emotional components play in a B2B buying process and how companies can promote the emotional bond of their customers, we want to show you here in our Mounting Systems News.
What do the emotional criteria look like in a buying process and when are they included?
First, the facts: The "State of B2B 2019" states that 56% of purchasing decisions are made on an emotional basis. Under emotional decision-making aids, the study lists the customer's trust in a good working relationship, the customer's confidence that the service will be provided as desired, optimism regarding the added value for his company, and the customer's pride in cooperating with the company in question. What is important about this percentage and these factors, however, is that buyers do not place the same amount of value on the emotional criteria in every decision-making phase. Especially at the beginning of the process, these are in the background and rational aspects such as price, delivery performance and the reliability of the potential trading partner are used to make a preliminary selection. It is not until the final supplier selection that the emotional component takes effect as a decision-making aid. It is at this stage that questions such as "How confident am I that this supplier will deliver the desired performance?" or "How much do I trust the supplier?" become decision makers and justify the above 56%. Nevertheless, emotional and rational purchase decision factors should not be strictly separated: Both are interrelated and build on each other. The emotional decisions are thus influenced by a good price, the promise of fast delivery and reliable service.
Why are emotional criteria included in the buying process?
Even though people and especially buyers like to experience themselves as rationally decisive beings, the reality is different. Feelings are omnipresent (often unconsciously) and serve as an important component in decision-making. These can be influenced by recommendations from the environment, one's own past experiences, and the demeanor of the potential trading partner, leading to a desired action. Even though the B2B world is seen as a rational business and entrepreneurs seem to make final decisions primarily according to facts and logic, this is not the case.
What fosters an emotional bond between customers and the company?
The study responds, "The four components of the marketing mix (product, price, distribution and communication) must be right for a supplier to build an emotional connection." In this context, it is particularly important to bear in mind the backgrounds of the purchasers: After all, they themselves bear a great risk when choosing their suppliers and therefore need, above all, trust in their trading partners and their performance. If they rely on the wrong partner, this can mean major losses for the company or even their dismissal. This is precisely where the various measures taken by companies come in. Various measures can be chosen to convince customers of their reliability and create an emotional connection: Flexible, readily available service is one of these precautions. Customers want to have a contact person. Especially when there are not always avoidable problems with the products or delivery. We at Mounting Systems recognized this early on and installed a reliable service where our customers can expect our help in a short time. This availability at short notice gives customers the security and partnership they need.
Furthermore, the visibility of the company should be promoted above all. A company that consistently makes a serious appearance on its website creates a certain role for itself. This can be further refined with regular posts on industry-relevant topics on the company's own website and social media channels. Regular trade show appearances by a company are also essential. These provide space for personal discussions between customers and the company and give interested parties the opportunity to try out the products live on site. The objective of both variants is to bring customers closer to the company and to establish a personal relationship.
Those who give their company a face make an empathetic impression. Long-standing, successful business relationships with customers can also give your company more visibility. With the help of word of mouth and recommendations, other people can be reached. People who hear positive feedback about a company from colleagues or friends are more likely to enter into a commercial relationship with that company. We are therefore proud of the fact that we have maintained intensive business relationships with our customers for many years. These long-standing relationships are a testament to the fact that we deliver a great total package and satisfy customers with our offering. Criteria that lead to Mounting Systems being recommended to others.
When choosing a supplier, the right feeling plays an important role in the final decision. Companies and their employees are not rigid, rational beings, but associations of individual, emotionally feeling people who unconsciously include their feelings in their decisions. To make buyers feel the right way, suppliers must not only provide reliable service and an acceptable price, but also work on their external perception. In order to promote the company's visibility, a website with interesting news as well as regular appearances at trade fairs relevant to the industry are ideal. Companies that manage to present themselves in a serious and sympathetic manner arouse positive emotions in potential customers and thus promote the conclusion of a contract. With Mounting Systems, we position ourselves as a brand that stands for reliability and customer-oriented relationships and that also communicates this through the relevant channels. Feel free to contact us and convince yourself of our excellent services.
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