A recent survey of some 250 buyers from a mixed range of industries and company sizes revealed what the biggest turnoffs are during the B2B buying experience. If you think for half a minute about your own buying experiences, you might be able to guess a few of them. They are unfortunately not that unusual.

The list

The survey results were part of a broader survey about what do B2B buyers want? But if you don't want to read the whole thing, the list of top turnoffs mentioned by B2B buyers looks like this:

  1. When companies talk too much about themselves and don’t get to know our business, 27.5%
  2. When companies act more like vendors than partners, 19.6%
  3. When companies don’t provide me with objective information to help frame my decision, 18.5%
  4. When companies are too transactional and don’t seem interested in a relationship, 18%
  5. When the sales experience is excellent, but the service afterwards disappoints, 10.1%
  6. When companies reach out too early in the sales cycle, 6.3%

Outbound vs. inbound

Above could be said to mirror the worst parts of traditional outbound marketing and sales. A situation in which a salesperson kicks the door in’  (whether physically or online) whether you're ready or not and then talk about the virtues of their offering rather than wanting to understand your objectives, goals, challenges and business rationale. 

One way of safeguarding yourself, as a B2B seller, towards ending up in this trap is to apply the principles of inbound. By looking at things from the outside only, i.e. from the customers perspective rather than yours, you minimise the risk of ending up displaying any of the behaviours from the list above. And that would be a great service to everyone.

If you want the statistics gathered in a single slide you can access them here.

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Stellan Björnesjö

Online Strategist since 2012
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