• Posted On Monday, July 10, 2023 by Vince Antoine

    Sales Risk

    Buyers take certain risks when purchasing products or services for their businesses. B2B purchases require capital. Some buyers may use a line of credit to make purchases, whereas others may use cash. Regardless, if the product or service doesn't live up to their expectations, it may not be a smart investment. As a sales rep, however, there are ways to minimize risk for buyers and close more deals.

    Common Types of Risks for B2B Buyers

    To minimize risk for buyers, you must first understand the different types of risks they encounter. One of the most common types is financial. Buyers want to purchase products and services that will provide their businesses -- either directly or indirectly -- with a positive return on investment (ROI). If a product or service is too expensive or doesn't work as intended, it may not be worth purchasing. Buyers take financial risks such as this when purchasing products and services from B2B companies.

    There are operational risks. After purchasing a product or service, buyers must integrate it into their business's operations. Some products and services can be integrated more easily than others. The ease at which this integration occurs is represented by operational risks. Buyers want to purchase products and services that they can easily and successfully integrate into their business's operations. if a product or service isn't compatible with their business's operations, or if it's simply too difficult to integrate, buyers won't be able to use it.

    Performance risks are exactly what they sound like: risks associated with the performance of a product or service. Unless a buyer has purchased a particular product or service in the past, he or she may not know how it will perform. The buyer will have to take a metaphorical leap of faith, hoping that the product or service will live up to their expectations. These are performance risks, and they can influence purchasing decisions among buyers.

    In addition to financial, operational and performance risks, there are reputational risks. Reputational risks involve businesses' reputations. Some products and services may improve a business's reputation, whereas others may harm its reputation. Buyers, of course, typically strive to avoid the latter. They don't want products or services that will harm their business's reputation.

    Another common type of risk encountered by buyers in the B2B industry is relationship. Relationship risks involve the professional relationships businesses have with other businesses. Before purchasing one of your B2B company's products or services, buyers may consider the relationship risks. In other words, they will consider how the purchase will affect their relationships with other vendors, suppliers and businesses.

    Maintain Transparency

    You can minimize risks for buyers by maintaining transparency. Transparency revolves around communications. You should maintain strong communications with buyers throughout their purchasing journeys while answering all of their questions and addressing all of their concerns. Neglecting to respond to buyers will increase their risk. They may fear that the product or service won't integrate into their business's operations, or they may fear it won't offer a positive ROI. By maintaining transparency, you can alleviate buyers' concerns and minimize risks such as these.

    Show Proof of Performance

    Showing buyers proof of performance can minimize their risk while allowing you to close more deals. Proof of performance is evidence that a product or service works. It's not based on anecdotal claims or marketing jargon. Rather, proof of performance is typically data-driven insights that reveal the performance of a product or service.

    Here are some different ways to show proof of performance to buyers:

    • Create case studies
    • Record product demonstration videos
    • Conduct side-by-side comparisons with competitors' products or services

    Offer a Free Trial

    Depending on the particular type of product or service you are trying to sell, you may want to offer buyers a free trial. A free trial is a period during which a buyer can use a product or service without paying for it. It's typically offered as a testing period. During the free trial, the buyer can use the product or service -- it may have limited features or functionality -- to decide whether it's right for their business. Since buyers don't have to purchase the product or service during the free trial, it minimizes their risk. Buyers can test and use the product or service, and if it lives up to their expectations, they can purchase it at the end of the free trial.

    Provide Post-Purchase Support

    You can minimize risks for buyers by providing post-purchase support. Some B2B companies focus exclusively on closing deals. After convincing a buyer to make a purchase, they move on to the next buyer. But failure to provide post-purchase support is a serious mistake. It will harm buyer loyalty, and it may discourage new buyers from making a purchase.

    Post-purchase support reduces buyers' risks. It involves customer support and service that occurs after a purchase. By providing post-purchase support, buyers will feel more confident making a purchase. They will know that your B2B company stands by its products and services, which can lead to more deals.

    Offer Warranties or Guarantees

    Another way to minimize risk for buyers is to offer warranties or guarantees. Warranties and guarantees instill trust. Even if a buyer never intends to use them, they can improve his or her image of your B2B company. The buyer will view your B2B company as being more trustworthy. After all, warranties and guarantees require B2B companies -- or other businesses for that matter -- to stand by their products or services. If the product or service fails during the warranty or guarantee period, the B2B company will pay to replace or fix it. You can use this to your advantage by offering warranties or guarantees to buyers. It will minimize their risk while allowing you to close more deals in the process.

    Help With Implementation

    Don't forget to help buyers with implementation. Implementation is all about using and integrating a product or service within a business. If buyers aren't confident they can implement a product or service, they may not purchase it. The product or service will carry operational risks, which may discourage them from purchasing it. You can resolve operational risks such as this by helping buyers with implementation.

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