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Sales Tips: How to Sway Your Buyers’ Decision in B2B Sales Deals

Courtesy of Primary Intelligence, a CustomerCentric Selling® Partner

Although B2B buyers are most interested in product features and functionality when evaluating companies, buyer’s perception of your company can sway their decision in your favor (or not). Primary Intelligence discovered that 20% of buyers, approximately 1 in 5, rate vendors as “poor” in most company-related criteria.

While solution capabilities are typically the most important aspect in B2B sales evaluations, consideration of how vendors are perceived overall – including vendor reputation, service and support, and future direction – are also influential in the final decision.

attract buyers

How can you improve buyers’ perceptions of your company? Here are three best practices you can implement at your organization.

1. Vet customer references.

Ensuring that your company has solid customer references will help to assuage any concerns customers may have about your experience in and commitment to their industry. Look for promoters who can help to evangelize your company and the strategic direction in which it’s heading. Case studies, user conferences, co-webinars, and joint customer-vendor presentations at industry events will help to showcase your most successful customer accounts.

One CIO shared with us,

We didn’t have a lot of references that were a similar fit to the kind of resources we were looking for. Ideally, I was looking for a company similar to our size that was spread out with multiple locations. I could never really get a good, exact fit for somebody to talk to that had the same layout.

2. Share future direction.

It’s important to share product road maps, strategic vision documents, long-term planning, and other evidence of your organization’s future direction with your customers and prospects. Ask recipients to sign non-disclosure agreements if necessary but make sure your customer base is excited about the strategic direction in which you’re headed.

A vice president of IT explained,

They’re trying to change the face that they bring to their customers, but so far I really haven’t seen it materialize in a change. They wouldn’t be on our short list of companies to talk to.

3. Improve service and support.

While service and support is often a challenging area for most companies, understanding what changes need to be made in order to offer customers outstanding service and support will help make your company stand out in the eyes of your customers. Leading organizations target improvements in customer experience as a competitive differentiator to ensure their customers stay loyal over the long term and don’t defect to competing vendors.

The financial manager of a healthcare organization stated,

I’m pretty adamant about customer service at the leadership level. It has eroded a bit lately. They just seemed to be lagging behind.

Remember: Buyers fear that they’re only as good as their partners and providers and that they can’t afford to have a weak link in the chain.

Sales Tips: How to Respond to “Best and Final” Pricing Requests

By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®

How should sellers reply when they are not going to win a transaction but are asked for a “best and final” number? Some respond with the lowest possible price with the thought being they may be able to steal the business (unlikely) or at least make it a skinny deal for their competitors. It’s not a tactic I endorse.

I believe floating aggressive prices can come back to haunt sellers if and when the roles may be reversed in the future. It would be awkward if a seller’s customers got wind of pricing that was lower than what they paid.

best and final pricing

My suggestion when asked for best and final pricing is to ask:

“Am I the vendor of choice and is price the last remaining obstacle?”

  • If the person asking is not a decision maker, indicate that he/she, the decision maker, your manager and you would have to meet to see if the transaction could be completed.
  • If the person asking for better pricing says you are not yet the vendor of choice you can respond:

“It sounds as though you have more work to do in finalizing your decision. If I become the vendor of choice at that time we can all meet to see if we can come to terms. For now, let’s leave pricing as an open item.” 

Some positive things happen by taking this approach:

  • You avoid putting low ball numbers on the street
  • The “buyer” hasn’t gotten what he or she wants
  • It makes sense for both parties not to negotiate unless you are Column A

Always and never don’t usually apply to sales, but my suggestion is to always act as though you are Column A when asked for better pricing. If you are, buyers will come back to you. If you’re not, you keep your dignity by not getting dragged into a discounting death spiral.

Sales Tips: How to Get Past the First 20 Seconds

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<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/sales-tips-how-to-get-past-the-first-20-seconds” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hs-fs/hub/22968/file-2072522307-jpg/0-stopwatch-2.jpg?t=1489093932032″ alt=”Sales Tips: How to Get Past the First 20 Seconds” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
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<h1>Sales Tips: How to Get Past the First 20 Seconds</h1>
<p>By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – <a href=”http://www.customercentric.com/browse-23547/SalesTrainingWorkshops.html”>The Sales Training Company</a></p>
<p><em>Image courtesy of Stuat Eman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net</em></p>
<img src=”http://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=22968&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.customercentric.com%2Fblog%2Fsales-tips-how-to-get-past-the-first-20-seconds&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.customercentric.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss” alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ style=”min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; “>

Sales Tips: How to Get Buyers and Sellers onto the Same Page

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<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/sales-tips-getting-buyers-sellers-on-same-page” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hubfs/buyer-seller-same-page.png?t=1489093932032″ alt=”Sales Tips: How to Get Buyers and Sellers onto the Same Page” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
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<p><strong><span style=”font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; color: #152d53;”>Sales Tips: How to Get&nbsp;Buyers and Sellers onto the Same Page</span></strong></p>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”><em>By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, <a href=”http://www.customercentric.com”>CustomerCentric Selling®</a></em></span></p>
<img src=”http://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=22968&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.customercentric.com%2Fblog%2Fsales-tips-getting-buyers-sellers-on-same-page&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.customercentric.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss” alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ style=”min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; “>

Sales Tips: How to Dissect a Lost Opportunity

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<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/sales-tips-how-to-dissect-a-lost-opportunity” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hubfs/microscope.png?t=1489093932032″ alt=”Sales Tips: How to Dissect a Lost Opportunity” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
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<p><span style=”font-size: 24px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;”><strong><span style=”color: #152d53;”>Sales Tips: How to Dissect a Lost Opportunity</span></strong></span></p>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”><em>By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, <a href=”http://www.customercentric.com”>CustomerCentric Selling®</a></em></span></p>
<img src=”http://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=22968&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.customercentric.com%2Fblog%2Fsales-tips-how-to-dissect-a-lost-opportunity&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.customercentric.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss” alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ style=”min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; “>

Sales Tips: How to Differentiate Yourself with Senior Executives

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<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/sales-tips-how-to-differentiate-yourself” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hubfs/stand-out.png?t=1489093932032″ alt=”Sales Tips: How to Differentiate Yourself with Senior Executives” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
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<p><span style=”font-size: 24px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;”><strong><span style=”color: #152d53;”>Sales Tips: How to Differentiate Yourself with Senior Executives</span></strong></span></p>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”><em>By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, <a href=”http://www.customercentric.com”>CustomerCentric Selling®</a></em></span></p>
<img src=”http://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=22968&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.customercentric.com%2Fblog%2Fsales-tips-how-to-differentiate-yourself&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.customercentric.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss” alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ style=”min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; “>

Sales Tips: How to Earn the Right to Close

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<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/sales-tips-how-to-earn-the-right-to-close” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hubfs/business-agreement.png?t=1489093932032″ alt=”Sales Tips: How to Earn the Right to Close” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
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<p><span style=”font-size: 24px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;”><strong><span style=”color: #152d53;”>How to Earn the Right to Close</span></strong></span></p>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”><em>By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, <a href=”http://www.customercentric.com”>CustomerCentric Selling®</a></em></span></p>
<img src=”http://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=22968&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.customercentric.com%2Fblog%2Fsales-tips-how-to-earn-the-right-to-close&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.customercentric.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss” alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ style=”min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; “>

Sales Tips: How to Grab and Keep Your Buyer’s Attention

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<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/sales-tips-how-to-grab-and-keep-your-buyers-attention” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hubfs/man-holding-goldfish.png?t=1489093932032″ alt=”sales tips for grabbing buyer attention” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
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<p><span style=”font-size: 24px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;”><strong><span style=”color: #152d53;”>Sales Tips: How to Grab and Keep Your Buyer’s Attention</span></strong></span></p>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”><em>By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, <a href=”http://www.customercentric.com”>CustomerCentric Selling®</a></em></span></p>
<img src=”http://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=22968&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.customercentric.com%2Fblog%2Fsales-tips-how-to-grab-and-keep-your-buyers-attention&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.customercentric.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss” alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ style=”min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; “>

Sales Tips: How to Earn the Right to Discuss Offerings Using Diagnose and Prescribe

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<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/sales-tips-how-to-diagnose-prescribe” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hs-fs/hub/22968/file-2230822222-jpg/listening_to_buyer.jpg?t=1489093932032″ alt=”Sales Tips: How to Earn the Right to Discuss Offerings Using Diagnose and Prescribe” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
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<h1>Sales Tips: How to Use the&nbsp;”Diagnose and Prescribe” Approach</h1>
<p>By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – <a href=”http://www.customercentric.com/browse-23547/SalesTrainingWorkshops.html”>The Sales Training Company</a></p>
<img src=”http://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=22968&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.customercentric.com%2Fblog%2Fsales-tips-how-to-diagnose-prescribe&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.customercentric.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss” alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ style=”min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; “>

Sales Tips: How to Go from the Underdog to the Favorite

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<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/sales-tips-underdog-to-favorite” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hubfs/underdog.jpeg?t=1489093932032″ alt=”Underdog” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
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<p><span style=”font-size: 24px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;”><strong><span style=”color: #152d53;”>Sales Tips:&nbsp;Winning Sales – How to Go from Underdog to the Favorite</span></strong></span></p>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”><em>By Mike Brose, <a href=”https://www.primary-intel.com”>Primary Intelligence</a></em></span></p>
<img src=”http://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=22968&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.customercentric.com%2Fblog%2Fsales-tips-underdog-to-favorite&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.customercentric.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss” alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ style=”min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; “>