The sales process in the investment goods industry is sophisticated and long-lasting when compared to commodity products.
Sometimes it takes years to close the business. Therefore it is of enormous importance for both parties – the buyer and the seller – that this process is as efficient as possible. Commitment, trust and cooperation are key elements in developing enduring and successful relationships between sellers and buyers in a b2b setting. Commitment and trust can only be developed when individuals understand each other and the expectations of each other (pervin, cervone and john 2000, p.526). Understanding does not just mean that it is based on business information, e.g. Technical specifications; it is extremely important to understand the buyer as a whole person – the personality of the person. People are different and people behave differently; therefore based on an individual’s personality, he or she will have different expectations and also expect different things depending on how he or she is treated.
The motivation to explore this topic is derived from the tremendous influence that the buyer’s personality can have on the sales process and outcome. Adapting to personal needs, preferences, thinking and decision-making styles shows the buyer that the seller understands him or her, which consequently establishes a strong relationship.