B2B Buyers’ Purchase Decisions Hinge on Emotion, Not Facts

Jon Miller over at the Marketo blog summarized the results of a study Marketo conducted along with Enquiro Research to delve into how B2B buyers make decisions.

The results will not surprise readers of this blog. Rational B2B buyers are a “myth,” and negative emotions drive the buying decision:

The Enquiro research shows that B2B buying decisions are usually driven by one emotion: fear. As a result, B2B buying is all about minimizing fear by minimizing risk. There is organizational risk, which can often be dealt with rationally, and personal risk, which is usually unstated and hidden from the rational process. Yet personal risk is a huge factor in B2B buying.

This irrationality and desire to mitigate risk and complexity leads purchasers to return to an old-school tool for making decisions: the recommendation. The post suggests, among other things, that B2B marketers capitalize on what I would call the “fellow traveler” syndrome–generating positive references from people elsewhere in the buyer’s company and industry is a significant help for vendors seeking to overcome buyers’ fear instincts and win new business.

(Hat tip Futurelab blog.)

Related posts:
Complex sales: it’s all about the negatives
Another kind of value proposition

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