Christoph Becker explains why B2B marketing agencies should be prescribing confident optimism to prospect decision-makers
People are addicted to proof. We’ve created a culture in which the supply of evidence is limitless and unstoppable. It flows through us and around us, shaping and governing every choice we make.
We’ve now educated our guesses to the point that no one is happy to guess anymore. There’s DNA sequencing to direct our healthcare decisions. We rely on the aggregated opinions of thousands to tell us what to eat, as real-time delivery trackers predict precisely when we can expect those meals to arrive. We even have apps to quantify and optimize the search for love.
Technology has brought us the affirmation and assurance we need – and now that we have it, we crave more of it, for everything.
It’s a perfectly understandable desire. Who wouldn’t want to dispel the cloud of uncertainty that would otherwise darken our every move? Especially in these times, when the dread of not knowing what comes next is so palpable in the worlds of politics, media and beyond.
In business too, the need to know for sure matters more than ever. Business buying decisions are uniquely intense, high risk, high cost, multi-year propositions. They’re emotional in a way that buying an electric toothbrush, or a loaf of bakery bread, can never be. Business decisions are career-defining moments.
Adding to the complexity is the fact that these decisions are generally taken not by individuals, but by groups of five or more people.
It’s crucial for B2B marketers to put themselves into the mindset of these decision-making teams. What’s the group thinking? What troubles them? What are their aspirations? What will give them the confidence to work with you and the optimism to dream of future success at the highest levels?
There are crucial moments in every relationship. At those moments, we need to feel something exceptional, fresh and new if we’re to go to the next level.
Confident optimism happens when decision-makers not only feel solidly assured of a company’s expertise, but also feel a strong sense of optimism about what this partner can do for their business.
There are four key builders of confident optimism:
1. Proof, proof and more proof
70% of decision-makers want to know a partner completely understands their needs
. Some 69% want to learn and be inspired via thought leadership.
2. Friction without fear
The first moment of friction is when you really find out about a partner, according to 86% of decision-makers. Navigated correctly, this is a moment when the relationship can progress to the next level.
3. Connection to culture
83% say company culture is among the most important attributes in selecting a partner.
4. Constant communication
When you go quiet, you create a hole in your relationship that worries fill. More than three-quarters of decision-makers strongly agree communication is the connective tissue of successful business relationships.
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