Why I Don’t Agree with Seth Godin on Why Businesses Buy

Seth Godin’s blog is good. No arguments from me on that.

However, his May 29, 2012 entry is one I’m going to challenge him on. His post talks about B2B selling, and in it, he lists the 6 reasons why companies buy.

Sorry, but I disagree that “making a profit” should be listed last as a reason a company buys anything.  He even lists “having fun” and “gaining praise” as being more important than making a profit.  If you, Seth, were working for me, I’d fire you or minimally I wouldn’t authorize you to spend one cent of the company’s money.

I’ve been in B2B for 30 years and I can say I’ve never met someone who would rank the reasons as he has them ranked.

The fact of the matter is no business “buys” anything.  They only invest. The only reason any business buys anything is to achieve a return on their investment.   I say this not just as a salesperson, but also as a person who spent 20 years with major corporations overseeing large budgets and significant assets.

My list of reasons as to why businesses buy goes like this:

  1. Achieve a return on investment, either immediate or long-term.
  2. Minimize a potential risk.
  3. Optimize a potential gain.
  4. Become more efficient, ultimately saving money in some way.
  5. Invest for strategic purposes to achieve a longer-term gain or fulfill a strategic objective.

Yes, there are items on my list that are similar to Seth Godin’s list, but there are several on his list that will never make it to my list.

Obviously, I’m not going to stop reading his blog because of this one posting.  No, I like what he has to say, but as with any blog, I read it with a critical eye.

I hope you read my blog with a critical eye as well, calling me out when you disagree — and chiming in when you agree as well.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.




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2 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Agree with Seth Godin on Why Businesses Buy”

  1. I was thinking the same this morning.

    Seth’s blog posts get retweeted because he’s Seth.

    This morning I was saying, I don’t agree with everything he writes.

    Refreshing to see someone thinking like me.

  2. I agree, I like Seth and read his short posts daily. This time Seth’s list and reasoning is a bit strange.

    Why one company buys from another is still pretty basic as far as I am concerned; “it solves a business need or solves a business problem.”

    The seller needs to package his products and services as the solutions to fill that need or solve that problem. The Buyer cares little or nothing about a company’s products or services. The Buyer is looking to solve a problem. Is your company marketing its products and services as solutions to problems? It should and it should be doing so in every prospect touch point.

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