If your business sells to consumers, you know that emotion plays a big part in the decision to buy. As humans, we unconsciously rely on past experience to give us a “gut feeling” about a product or service. We can’t always explain why we love it, or love it more than the alternatives. We just love it.

Emotion influences B2B buying, because the decision-makers are people, not robots.

Emotion influences B2B buying, because the decision-makers are people, not robots.

If your business sells to consumers, you know that emotion influences B2B buying

As humans, we unconsciously rely on past experience to give us a “gut feeling” about a product or service. We can’t always explain why we love it, or love it more than the alternatives. We just love it.

For most buying decisions, most people avoid doing the rational thing: research and compare factual data, carefully weigh the pros and cons of multiple options. When we do force ourselves to slow down and investigate, we often delay any decision or decide we don’t really need that thing anyway.

If your business sells to other businesses, none of that applies, right? Wrong. Stereotypes about business decision-makers being emotionless, calculating, fact-based, bottom-liners are misleading. Research shows B2B buyers are actual humans. Their instinct is to buy emotionally based on the value they expect to derive personally from making a good decision. See chart below.

The big difference between buying as a consumer and buying for a business is that the business buyer also must justify his or her unconscious emotional decision with logic and reason. Bosses and colleagues affected by the decision will demand to know the value for the business, backed up by facts, figures and expected return on investment.

B2B sales training experts like Scott Messer of Sales Evolution have been teaching this forever. But despite the obvious fact that marketers and salespeople are targeting the same human buyers, many B2B marketers focus their websites and promotions entirely on attempts to “prove” the superior value of their solution to the business.

Successful B2B marketers aren’t thinking only about how they can help the customer’s bottom line. They are also thinking about all that is on the line, personally, for the human decision-maker. Consider:

  • How can your solution help the decision-maker feel safe, confident, smart and proud?
  • How can your solution ensure the decision-maker will avoid feeling fearful, anxious, stupid or ashamed?

It’s Valentine’s Day, marketers. Spend your working hours today feeling the love for business decision-makers. Tomorrow, take a fresh look at your marketing. Are you communicating to potential buyers that choosing your solution will be personally valuable to them? Learn how to create an emotional connection between customers and your B2B brand from CEB Global. Learn more on the subject of emotional buying from Psychology Today and Kapost.

How Emotion Influences B2B Buying

Business Value
  • 48% wanted to buy a new solution but didn’t speak up for fear of risks
  • 74% of B2B customers see a business value
  • Just 14% of B2B buyers perceive
    a real difference in supplier offerings
  • Only 31% of B2B customers think B2B brands provide a personal value
   Personal Value
  • Personal value has 2X as much
    impact as business value does
  • 68% of B2B buyers who see a personal value will pay a higher price
  • Only 8.5% of buyers who see NO personal value will pay a higher price
  • 71% of buyers who see a personal value will purchase a product
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