A B2B marketing message angle that could close sales.

In an earlier post, I talked about what motivates business buyers to buy. I listed the typical human wants and needs that drive all decisions, including those in the B2B world.

The problem is, whether I’m writing copy for collaboration software or safety gear or outsourced IT or leadership training, the benefits I present are all in the same categories. Here are the top 10 marketing motivators in the B2B world:

1. To make money
2. To save money
3. To save time
4. To avoid effort
5.  To be praised
6. To be in style
7. To emulate others
8. To take advantage of  opportunities
9. To avoid criticism
10. To avoid loss

I get excited about the products and services I’m asked to help market, but underneath it all, I’m making similar buying arguments for every one of them.

Then yesterday I was reminded of new angle on an old benefit. It came from Christine Durkin of MockVideo when she commented on a LinkedIn discussion asking “Is there a silver bullet answer to shortening the technology B2B sales cycle?”

Her comment was “One of the main reasons a B2B sale is lost is that the prospect isn’t truly aware of the cost of doing nothing.”

Her comment gave me a fresh marketing message angle.

Rather than inviting late buy-cycle prospects to attend a Webinar or download another white paper, my clients can give them a bottom-line incentive to make a decision. Providing a calculator or quantitative numbers on what it’s costing a prospect to NOT make a decision tells a powerful story that could close a sale.

5 replies
  1. Scott McElman
    Scott McElman says:

    Susan, the beauty of your above post is its simplicity. I can attest that the “cost of doing nothing” approach definitely works. Thanks for pointing that out to the cloud. Great insight as always…

  2. Monica Canales
    Monica Canales says:

    How perfectly this matches The Prosci Institute’s approach to Change Management where the first step in their ADKAR model stands for Awareness! The awareness they speak of goes beyond knowing there’s a need for change (i.e. client should buy your service) but instead Prosci says that awareness is achieved only when the person or company truly understands the consequences and risks of not changing. I find the concept of Change Managementa great source of ideas for us marketers. I therefore encourage you to visit http://www.prosci.com

  3. Sally Giedrys
    Sally Giedrys says:


    Thanks for bringing up this important point (and so eloquently, too).

    In writing B2B copy for professional services, I’ve found that understanding and speaking to the costs of doing nothing can be one of the most effective ways to build trust and engage people, especially if you’re interested in building a position as a partner/resource.

    It’s a point that my clients’ clients often bring up in interviews, too. Almost always, that cost is related to motivators #1-10. It’s just being framed differently.


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