Trust remains the central issue when buying online in both B2C & B2B markets. Avoiding transactions that seem potentially risky is the decisive factor when considering whether to complete a purchase of either goods or services.
B2B buyers are invariably looking for a marketplace that will offer them a safe and functional place to interact and trade with other reputable industry professionals.
From the outset they want sellers to clearly demonstrate they are worthy of their trust. This belief must be present in the mind of the buyer for any possibility of a business transaction to take place.
The buyer (as the instigator of the process) will generally go through a quick mental checklist to help them arrive at a decision they feel comfortable with.
This article outlines the types of questions that will arise and some solutions as to how to prepare and succeed.
Parts Industry Background
The largest manufacturers of construction, mining & agricultural machinery (Caterpillar, Komatsu, Liebherr, JCB & Hitachi to name a few) distribute their products worldwide. Therefore there’s a constant need for parts, components & attachments for these machines. Machinery owners seek to buy either new, used, reconditioned or aftermarket parts to keep their machines operational. Price, availability and lead times are still the decisive factors in this sourcing process.
A global marketplace exists for trading these parts & components. Cross border transactions are commonplace. The opportunities for companies to acquire customers outside of their locality is vast.
To succeed in this space sometimes requires a slight shift in approach or simply executing a different strategy.
(1) What Parts Buyers Want to Know
In the event that they are using UrParts platform for the first time then they will possibly be seeking some guidance as to what steps to take to locate and buy the part(s) they need.
When they receive an email reply from a supplier that is unfamiliar to them it should not be surprising for them to be slightly apprehensive or hesitant in completing the transaction.
Anticipation of these obstacles and then successfully taking steps to overcome them is the important task now in front of the seller. This is the point where the crucial trust and credibility building exercise begins.
- Are they trustworthy and reliable?
- Do they have expertise in the industry?
- Do they have a website?
- Where are they based?
- Are there online reviews to read from other customers?
- Are they actively using other online platforms to communicate with customers? Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter etc )
- Is there a contact person name- is this person maybe on Linkedin?
Buyers often will carry out their own research and seek out opinions from people they know in the business and trust. Peer groups, forums, reviews and market mavens are all other sources of influence possibly factored into their decision-making process.
Even after gathering this information from various sources their “gut feeling “ more often will still prove to be the decisive factor. Research in this area has shown that we humans largely make decisions based on emotional feelings rather than logic.
(2) What Parts Sellers Can do to Help Build Trust Quickly
Astute business owners should understand and anticipate how most buyers think and act if they wish to gain trust quickly.
Buyers prefer to do business with companies that place their needs first. The buying experience needs to be quick, simple & transparent.
Sellers without any significant online presence risk being viewed unfavourably by buyers and eliminated from the process early on.
They question why a company would choose not to represent themselves in the digital marketplace, which raises important questions about credibility.
Basic websites can be set up reasonably cheaply and require very little maintenance or technical knowledge so the initial outlay is minimum. Be sure to include
- Good and relevant content: The content of the website must also be detailed and insightful. Good examples of this would be to tell your company history (if you have one) and explain exactly what you do and why you do it. Referencing happy customers is also a good idea.
- Having your full contact information including the business address visible is imperative and will allow buyers to carry out further checks. Recent images of your work premises and even staff members are very reassuring to the buyer and can help confirm your bona fides.
Operating transparent and authentic business practices will pay dividends and in time help to increase your customer base and reputation in the parts industry.
Sellers are advised to be visible and actively participating in as many online social platforms as possible.
(3) How to Sell Parts Effectively And Pick Up New Business
Assuming you have your pre-sales strategy operational then communicating effectively in real-time with buyers is also key to potential success.
Quoting: Present all the information they will need in 1 email as this will save time (which is important)
For example when replying to a request for parts by email clearly state:
Who you are; What you can provide; What the price is; Whether it is in stock; How they can contact you to discuss further.
UrParts.com – How We Help Parts Buyers And Sellers Meet And Do Business
UrParts.com service connects buyers seeking parts with specialist sellers. It provides a quick & effective way to source and buy parts directly online. It has been used by over 80,000 customers from 120 countries since 2012.
As a result of managing this service for over 7 years, we have accumulated an abundance of data and know-how within this construction parts industry.
Hopefully, by sharing our insights, we can help promote a less fearful environment for sourcing & purchasing machinery parts on a global scale whether it be through our service or elsewhere.
UrParts office staff are frequently approached by buyers and asked to “vouch“ for sellers that have quoted them for parts on our platform. The main issues of concern raised during this dialogue have also helped us arrive at the above conclusions.
Caterpillar, Komatsu, Volvo, Liebherr, Hitachi, JCB & New-Holland machinery parts are examples of commonly sought products on our global parts network.
Buyers are looking to make a decision quickly and one they are confident is free from any possible lingering doubts or fears.
They are seeking the same levels of service from business purchases as they get when they are shopping routinely for personal items and therefore will adopt the same thought processes to guide them to a decision.