B2B buyers want to feel “confident optimism” when they’re connecting with companies about a potential purchase or partnership, according to a survey of business professionals from Gyro.
New York-based B2B creative agency Gyro developed its report, ‘The Business Feeling Index: The Feelings That Move Business Forward,’ by fielding questions to more than 300 readers of the Financial Times. Perhaps not surprisingly, 83 per cent of respondents said culture is an important consideration in choosing the right partner, and 86 per cent said moments of friction tend to be the most telling about a future relationship. Nurturing a sense of “confident optimism,” however, is most important to buyers.
Confident optimism might be best understood by other emotions buyers might feel as part of alliance with a third party. For example, 86 per cent said they wanted to feel confident in a partner’s ability, while 70 percent said it was important they felt their needs were well-understood during the initial interaction. By the time a project or engagement ends, 65 per cent said they wanted to feel “accomplished,” which could lead to repeat business.
“Business buying decisions are uniquely intense, high risk, high cost, multi-year propositions. Business decisions are career-defining moments,” Christoph Becker, Gyro co-founder and COOO, told B2B News Network. “We know that business decisions are made emotionally and justified rationally. There have been a number of reports that show the importance of emotion in business decision making, but we felt that there was immense value in digging deeper into what feelings, at what moments, actually drive successful business relationships.”
Survey respondents shared very visceral examples of failed B2B relationships, Becker said. “For example, one said they feel doubt when a partner gets lethargic and loses enthusiasm. This is also true when their contact is not as regular and the conversations are not as positive,” he said.
Seventy percent of those surveyed said thought leadership is one of the most important elements a brand can offer when buyers are in the research phase. This could include demonstrating an ability to innovate, a collaborative approach or just an ability to connect to real industry challenges.
“Remember, both current and potential B2B partners are looking for proof,” Becker said. “They want to feel confident about your expertise, your culture and your competency.”
Gyro will use the data to produce “even more humanly relevant creative and ideas” for its clients, Becker said. However the research could also serve to educate other firms, like vendors, about what buyers are looking for beyond a set of features and functionality.
“We have more technological power than ever to target prospects and customers,” Becker said. “We just need to make certain that once we have their attention, that they actually feel something.”