B2B selling is about more than competing on price and functionality; meeting your clients’ subjective needs drives sales and customer loyalty.
A buyer comparing competing tenders to supply company vehicles is looking for more than just wheels for employees. As well as considering value for money, after-sales service and warranties, she’s also looking for a brand that matches her company’s ethos, and for cars execs – particularly senior ones – will enjoy driving.
Writing for Harvard Business Review, Eric Almquist, Jamie Cleghorn and Lori Sherer argue that, for even the most ubiquitous of products, buying decisions are predicated on a hierarchy of practical and subjective considerations. “Meeting specifications at an acceptable price in compliance with regulations while abiding by ethical standards” count as mere “table stakes”, they say. What really drives sales is how well you meet your customers’ higher psychological needs.