Getting past gatekeepers with Seth Godin's hierarchy of b2b needs

2 min read

We LOVE Seth Godin! Many marketers have heard of the American permission marketing guru. But did you know he knows a thing or two about B2B marketing too?

Check this out – his hierarchy of B2B needs:

1. Avoiding risk
2. Avoiding hassle
3. Gaining praise
4. Gaining power
5. Having fun
6. Making a profit

So what we’re talking about here is marketing to a business’ employees: it could be the receptionist, the sales exec, the MD’s assistant: basically anyone except the business owner. The point is that B2B selling is just like B2C sales, except the customer is spending someone else's money (and wants to please the boss). Tricky hey.

So what does this mean for B2B sales? To us it means that – sure – the bottom line is still about, well, the bottom line. BUT – in order to succeed - the profitability conversation has to be tied in to at least one of Godin’s needs. And – at every stage in the conversation – you want to check in with those needs and how they relate to the person you’re talking to now.

We figure this relates to everything you do in b2b sales and marketing: regardless of who you’re talking to, when you’re talking to them, or what you’re trying to sell.

Food for thought.

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