16 ways to alienate a B2B buyer

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Doug Kessler

10. 11. 2009 | 2 min read

16 ways to alienate a B2B buyer

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Most B2B marketing doesn’t just fail – it actively repels the people it’s trying to attract.  In other words, most B2B marketing would deliver better results if it didn’t exist at all.  When I buy things for Velocity, I’m a B2B buyer.  Here’s the best ways to alienate me:

Expect me to drop everything for you.
I’ve got a lot better things to be doing right now. Want my attention? You’ve got about seven micro-seconds to earn it.

Put your agenda above mine.
This may surprise you, but my problems are more important to me than yours. If you can help me, start with that.

Bore me.
Blather on about your micro-features in a bland, clinical, technocratic tone of voice.

Confuse me.
Contradict yourself. Use vague, ambiguous language. Bury me in jargon. Works every time.

Lie to me.
Exaggerate your claims. Use misleading data. Criticise your competitors inaccurately.

Insult my intelligence.
Use faulty logic, spurious comparisons or superficial analysis.

Lump me in with others.
Ignore my unique situation and assume I’m part of a mass market.

Expect me to do your job.
Make me dig for supporting data or figure out your pricing or product versions.

Imply I can’t survive without you.
I’ve done okay so far and will continue to do so. Get real.

Pretend I have no choice.
I have plenty of choice. Including your competitors, many substitutes and doing nothing for a while longer.

Treat me like a decision-making robot.
I’m a human being. Lighten up. Show me you’re human, too.

Ignore what you know about me.
My past behaviour has told you a lot about  me.  If you’ve been listening, prove it. Target me.

Assume I’m impressed by your success.
Your ‘leadership’ or ‘number 1’ status doesn’t move me. The reasons for it might.

Rush me to a close.
Buying is a process not a leap of faith. Take me through it step by step.
I’m a human being. Lighten up. Show me you’re human, too.

Dawdle when I’m ready to buy.
Read my buying signals (even if they’re digital) and ask for the order.

Assume my agenda is the same as my company’s.
I have a specific role. Don’t just tell me what’s in it for my company, tell me what’s in it for me.

Grab your last email shot or pdf brochure and see how many of these principles you’ve been following…

Published in:

  • B2B Content Marketing

  • b2b-marketing

  • copywriting

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