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~Lior Arussy

Emotion in B2B Decisions

Posted: Sep 30, 2013 by Michael Starr

As human beings, we are emotional.  Further, so are our purchase decisions. This is true in our major purchases, such as automobiles (people don’t need a Mercedes-Benz; they want one).  It also is true in our small purchases (How many of us buy Heinz ketchup when other brands are significantly less expensive simply because we trust that it tastes good). 

What people often forget, however, is that it also is true in business-to-business decisions.  People assume that business-to-business decisions are rational.  However, the stakes are often much higher in business-to-business decisions, thus increasing the role that emotions can plan.  In business-to-consumer purchases, the impact of the decision typically is limited to the individual purchaser or that person’s family.  Switching from an American Express to a MasterCard is a relatively simple decision that affects no one but the person making the switch.  In contrast, the impact of selecting Microsoft over Oracle in a business setting affects many, if not most, of the people in the company.  Further, that decision is scrutinized more closely by others in the company who have a significant influence over the decision-maker’s professional success.  The success or failure of business-to-business decisions affects performance evaluations, bonuses, promotions and, ultimately, job security. 

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