A prospect's decision making process is a funny one.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
But what if you could massively stack the deck in your favour?
What if you could engineer it so that you're seen as the obvious and ideal choice?
It's entirely possible to do all that and all it takes is a little strategic planning.
The results however are very much worth it.
A prospect’s decision making process is a funny one. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but what if you could massively stack the deck in your favor? What if you could engineer it so that you are seen as the obvious and ideal choice?
Hello, and welcome to win clients with case studies. So this week on the show, we're going to be talking about shaping buying criteria in your favor. It's something that doesn't seem to get much in the way of attention, but it's actually, devilishly powerful. Here's a good term. Devilishly powerful if used correctly. And wouldn't, you know, it, case studies are the perfect vehicle for helping do that. Now, when we talk about buying criteria, we are of course talking about the various considerations and deal winning points, which the buyer and their collective group of people who've got influence in the ultimate purchase decision, what they all deem to be important and will ultimately make the decision based on those points. At the beginning of a buying journey, a prospect will have an initial set of buying criteria and they will ultimately make that decision based on that list unless they discover along the way, other things which are important and which they realize could have a significant impact to the quality of their end decision.
Now it's up to you as a B2B marketer, I put forward for you to proactively help them shape that buying criteria in your favor. So this comes down to helping a prospect or educating a prospect on what is important, what can affect their decision and what they ultimately need to bear in mind for them to make an educated and informed purchase decision. Now in B2B right now, nearly all purchase decisions are made by a group endeavor. And at the same time, B2B buyers now more than ever are truly driven to make educated and informed purchase decisions. In fact, since the pandemic B2B buyers are now spending 33% more time researching products and services ahead of a purchase decision than before the pandemic. So this is a real indication for just how seriously and committed B2B buyers are at making the right decision. It's probably worth mentioning that were your competitors to set about doing this they would, of course, completely shape it in their favor.
Hopefully that won't be the case and all being well, you are going to be the one that's going to take the initiative on this, and you'll be the one leaving them in the dust, so to speak because you will have taken the initiative to do the all important shaping of the buying criteria in your favor.
So the process involves highlighting all of your key strengths plus all of your competitors weaknesses and in doing so, we'll be shining a light on each of those different points so that your prospect knows that these are the most important things, which they need to consider and take on board in order to make an educated and informed purchase decision. So let me give you an idea as to how this all fits together. Fujitsu is one of our clients and an area of their business involves servicing the educational sector with computer equipment.
Now, typically the educational sector, as far as computer equipment is concerned is extremely competitive. They're ultimately providing computers for schools and universities, and it's very much otherwise a commodity product. Now, one of Fujitsu's core strengths is that their hardware is a lot more durable than just about everyone else's on the market. That is absolutely a key strength. And, and it's definitely one of the areas in which they choose to fight on. However, they went to a lot of trouble to develop a much larger value added offering. In addition to just the hardware provision itself, when it comes to value added services, it's really important to actually define what the value add are in this case. The value added element comes from working very closely with the it teams at the various schools, colleges, and universities, to help them stay on top of the latest developments in technology what's available now.
And what's just around the corner. In addition to that, they facilitate opportunities for schools and colleges to get together and to experiment with the latest technology. So that they're collectively always ahead of the game. And this in turn is something which other vendors just do not have the capabilities or ability to offer it. I won't go into any more detail as to the value added element of their service that they offer simply to keep things brief right here and now, but what you can take away from it is that they position themselves as being a trusted partner to help their customers stay ahead of their game and to ultimately provide the very best learning experience for students. And this is something which their competitors just do not have the capability to offer. And it's absolutely a core strength for Fujitsu now because it's a core strength.
It in turn then is a weakness on the part of their competitors because they just can't offer that. So this is a great example of something to include in the buying criteria. So if you were say a it director at a school or college yes, you would be wanting to make sure you get a good price for the equipment, but through the education process. And we deliver this through the case study interview, you then set about learning that, first of all, sure, sure. The durability and quality of the hardware is important, but then we've then set about covering why it's important that for an it director to be able to stay on top of and stay ahead of the latest technical developments and with that, what they should do when these developments do come come about. So by introducing the thoughts and consideration that there's actually a lot more, that a potential technology partner can provide or should be able to provide.
And once that seed is planted, then that grows. And the cool thing is that once that seed is planted, then there's no turning back. And in this case, for example, previously where price was the key deciding factor for a decision on who to choose as the technology partner, because this seed has now been planted. That's no longer the case. And the buyer knows that actually there's a lot more to be had, and there's a lot more potential value at stake here. So therefore that's on their list. And when it comes to making the decision, any vendor that doesn't provide extra valued, added services, such as the ability to learn and experiment and play with new technology that counts against them. So now you've got an idea as to how and why we set about doing this. And I guess I should really put our point out that you Rin and repeats for this, for every single strong selling point of what you do and equally for each of your competitors' weaknesses, because at the end of the day, if you do all of this correctly, your customer will have their decision making list, which you tick every single box for and crucially your competitors will not.
And that in turn leads your competitor to the obvious decision that you are the perfect fit for their needs. I guess I should briefly cover it as well. How you actually set about doing this. So we've got now the list, the buying criteria list of elements that are important to making the decision. And the way that we do that in a case study is to get your guest who is being featured in the interview to talk about those topic areas. And the, the wonderful thing about it is that we get them to talk about it in their own words. Now, this is an incredibly powerful technique because at no point, does the person watching think that they or feel that they're being sold to, and they're not, but what we are doing, we are creating success by design. We purposefully get the guests to talk about these topic areas, because we know that those are the battle areas that you want to be fighting on.
And we also know that those are the weaknesses of your competitors, that if only your prospect gets the opportunity to learn and appreciate them, then that is key to moving them along the buying journey, to reach that all important epiphany moment, where they realize you are the right choice for them. So there we go. That's an introduction to the concept of shaping buying criteria in your favor. Now, I dare say that your sales process already does this to one degree or another already, but the approach which I've developed and which I advocate for producing true case studies does this by design. And it does it in such a way that, that we effortlessly cover it in an extremely impactful way. In fact, no, I'll go on further than that, I will say in the most effective way to cover all of that in three to four minutes in a easy to watch video, which can easily be shared amongst everyone involved with the decision making process in no uncertain terms, it stands to be your single most effective sales and marketing tool because of what it does and how it does it.
And as I say, in a, in just three to four minutes at that, so that's it for episode number two. And I really do hope that that's provided value for you. And at the same time has hopefully started you off thinking about how you can set about applying and using this for your business or company, if you'd like to subscribe so that you can carry on with this then you can do that via your favorite podcasting app alternative by visiting the podcasts website at casestudies.uk, where you can sign up by email. And finally, just in case we're not already connected on LinkedIn, then please do send me a connection request. Well, this has been when clients with case studies, I'm James Rostance, and I look forward for you joining me on the next one.
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