Book helps with any group purchase

B2B Marketing, By Steve Minett

B2B Marketing, By Steve Minett

If you sell perfume, stop reading immediately. If you sell something that requires the purchase decision of more than one person, however, I think you can learn something from this book.

B2B purchases are made as a group, and wherever you have a group decision there is going to be what Steve Minetta, a successful B2B marketing practitioner and academic, calls an ‘ideology of rationality.’ It works like this. The group will agree to a set up objective criteria for this purchase. Once the criteria are met, there are still unknowns about a supplier, so the buyer has to make a ‘leap of faith’ based on intangibles like branding, relationships, inertia, etc. The buyer will then have to justify the choice back to the group in an objective fashion. That’s the Left-Right-Left brain process by which group purchases are made.

Minett’s main point is that, in a group decision like this, the best way to get the point across is through case stories of how your product successfully met the needs of other customers. This communicates your features, which satisfies the buyer’s need for objective criteria. It also facilitates the leap of faith by instilling a sense of confidence in your ability to deliver. Then it enables the buyer to justify the decision back to the group, by showing them how the product works.

I have found this book to be very helpful with clients that have products that are purchased in a group environment – even if it’s not a strictly B2B product. The line between B2B and consumer products is in fact a continuum. Many of the products we sell are bought with more than one person involved, and understanding the group buying process and the practical application of case stories can be a real asset.

BookMark Rating: 5 out of 5

Mark Szabo is a senior suit with MacLaren McCann in Calgary. He can be reached at mark.szabo@maclaren.com.