The buyer-seller relationship is primarily a professional one. Buyers tell salespeople their business problems, and salespeople brainstorm solutions. Sales conversations transpire in terms of "metrics," "pain points," "results," "ROI," and "value." In general, salespeople adhere to the tried-and-true rule "Prove the business case and hook the buyer."
But is that totally accurate? As any psychologist could tell you, people often make decisions based on emotions more than logic. And while a dry business case might titillate the mind, it probably won't capture the heart -- or lay the groundwork for a signed contract.
According to research from CEB, personal value is 2x more powerful than business value to B2B buyers. Even more fascinating: 71% of buyers who understand an offering's personal value to them will purchase it.
With these statistics in mind, salespeople would be smart to get personal with their buyers. Don't just calculate ROI and call it a day. Reps should make a point to communicate the value of their product or service to each stakeholder on a personal level.
To spark a personal value discussion, ask questions such as:
- What will happen to you if this problem goes unsolved?
- What do you stand to gain by resolving this issue?
- How does this problem effect you personally?
- What are your goals?
- What challenges are you struggling with?
- What would you like to achieve in your career?
The infographic below underscores the importance of getting up close and personal with prospects. While I wouldn't recommend invading a buyer's physical personal space, tapping into their personal headspace is crucial.