Understanding the decision-making process

Understanding the decision-making process
Understanding the Decision-Making Process

Understanding the decision-making process: Understand how the decision-making process (and buying criteria) differs between B2C and B2B customers.

Are you selling to businesses or individual consumers? If you don’t think it makes a difference, think again. There are naturally more consumers than businesses, but they purchase in lesser volume than organizations. Businesses tend to be more logical than consumers who tend to be more emotional and impulsive. It can also take a considerable amount of time to find the decision-maker (or decision-makers) in an organization, and even longer for decisions to be reached. Some also perform a comprehensive vendor analysis to determine your ability to offer reliable fulfillment in the appropriate quality and quantity.

Some steps in the buying process are common. For example: buyers recognize that something is imperfect or incomplete (needs awareness); they search for information on alternatives and evaluate each alternative (evaluation of solutions); the buyer decides to do something, but may still have issues that need to be resolved (resolution of problems); then the buyer actually makes the decision or choice to buy (purchase); and finally you need to add value by ensuring your customer is satisfied with their choice (implementation).

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that basic human needs are arranged in a hierarchy according to their strength (physiological needs, security needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs). Where does your product fit on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? There could be more potential customers but more competition at the lower levels, and fewer potential customers but less competition at the higher levels.

Understanding the decision-making process and buying criteria of your customer can help you move them to the next step in the buying process and therefore shorten the sales cycle.

Learn how to understand the decision-making process, right here in this video.

In this video:
00:32 The 5 levels of needs
01:10 Prospects versus competition
01:35 What you must do right now

Hi everyone, it’s Tom Abbott here, founder of Soco Sales Training, sales trainer, coach, keynote speaker and author of ‘The SOHO Solution: 21 Selling Strategies for Growing Your Small Business’ with a tip on how you can increase sales and grow your business.

You’re reading this post to learn how to sell, but it’s more important for you to learn how and why customers buy.

The 5 Levels of Needs
According to Abraham Maslow, people pass through five levels of needs: physiological, security, social, esteem and self-actualization. For example, when consumers purchase food they’re satisfying their physiological needs. Computer back-ups satisfy security needs. Networking events satisfy social needs. Awards satisfy esteem needs. Learning a new language satisfies self-actualization needs.

Prospects Versus Competition
What needs are being filled by your product or service? You might find that there could be more prospects at the lower end of the scale (physiological), but you might also find a lot more competition. At the higher end of the scale (self-actualization), there could be fewer prospects, but you might find less competition, making that market slightly more attractive.

What You Must Do Right Now
Your task today is to determine if you are selling to the right customers. Understanding the decision-making process of your customers can help you shorten the sales cycle.

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