Let’s face the truth: today’s B2B customers just don’t trust you. In fact, a recent study found that 59% of buyers would rather do research online to avoid interacting with a human sales rep who pushes their own agenda and doesn’t listen.
B2B customers also have more anxiety about their purchases than ever before and are constantly questioning if a purchase will ruin their professional career or if there is something else that would be a better purchase. They often aren’t confident they are buying the right product at the right price to help their company.
However, don’t think that B2B is dead! There’s a way to move past this anxiety and distrust, and it comes from being an advisor to your customers. In fact, a study in the Harvard Business Review found that listening to buyers and taking a proactive approach can increase purchase ease by 86%. It all comes back to building trust and establishing a true relationship with customers. One of the fastest ways for sales reps to build that trust is by focusing on helping their prospects rather than just selling to them. A LinkedIn survey found that B2B buyers are five times more likely to engage with a salesperson who provides new insights about their business or industry.
Think of it like walking into a clothing store: would you want to make a purchase if you were ignored by the salesperson or shown the same item as everyone else in a pushy way? You would likely prefer to make a purchase if the salesperson took time to ask what you were shopping for and then brought out a few options that were selected just for you to match your style and buying needs. That salesperson listened to you and provided more than just an article of clothing. The same principle applies in B2B.
In today’s B2B world, things are simply becoming commodities, and there is too much stuff that’s exactly the same. What will make you stand out isn’t your product, but rather the services you offer around that product. Make B2B personal by listening, observing, and understanding your customer’s personal goals and emotions. Customers want more than just a transaction—they want a real experience they know they can trust.
Take the time to build trust in your B2B experience, both online and in person. Being proactive and providing personalized recommendations to customers will put you in an advisory role to gain their trust and build a strong, loyal customer relationship.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, author of More Is More, and keynote speaker. Sign up for her weekly newsletter here. Go farther and create knock your socks-off customer experiences in your organization by enrolling in her new Customer Experience School.