There are two core decision-making processes prospects go through before deciding to buy your product: the considered purchase and the impulse buy.
Most industrial products are considered purchases, while most though not all consumer products are impulse buy.
An impulse buy is you see a commercial for Sonic, crave a drink and a burger, and go out and get it – purely on impulse, because it looks good and you are hungry.
A considered purchase is your company is thinking of buying a heat exchange. Some of the steps and decision points in that buying process:
- Do we really need a heat exchange or is there another way to solve the process problem?
- If we need a heat exchanger, what type—plate, shell and tube, or one of about a dozen other designs?
- What size or capacity do we need?
- Once we settle on the type and size, what make and model should we buy?
And these decisions are not made by one person; a group or committee evaluates the available options and makes the purchase.
Therefore anyone who tells you that there is no difference in selling to consumers vs. selling to engineers …
And no difference in selling an inexpensive consumer product vs. a big-ticket piece of industrial equipment …
… is entirely off his or her rocker. Everyone in industry knows the buyers are different, the products are different, and the applications are as different. Buying a Lady Gaga CD or a pet goldfish is as different from buying a process control system as night is from day.
If you refuse to acknowledge this difference you are fooling yourself. If you wrote a beer ad the same as you would an ad for jet fuel, you are destined to fail.