When you need to find someone to babysit your children, or watch your dog for the weekend, or remodel your kitchen, what do you do? Do you just Google it and click on the first ad you see? Of course not! You seek out a recommendation from a family member, friend, coworker, neighbor…maybe even the guy at the grocery store checkout counter. Why? Because they’ve already vetted the solution. They’ve been there, done that. You know they have insights and knowledge to share with you, and most importantly, can give you advice on pitfalls to avoid. You know they’ll be honest and only point you in a direction that will be helpful. Bottom line…because you TRUST your peer.
Can the same be said with marketing and sales messages these days. Research says no. And it kind of makes sense. Marketers and salespeople are paid to get you to take action and buy what they’re offering. They have an “agenda” from the perspective of a buyer. But that doesn’t mean the game is over or that Sales & Marketing should just pack up and go home. Heck no! It just means in order to gain the buyer’s trust faster, more effectively and more persuasively, B2B sellers just need to change up their strategy a bit. It also means giving up some of the control and letting someone ELSE talk with your buyer: your happy customers.
Research has also shown when customer referrals, customer advocacy, and customer references are incorporated throughout the full spectrum of the B2B buyer’s journey, buyer trust is built faster, your value message is received with higher credibility. Check out the infographic below (or download your own copy):