Industrial buyers' influence strategies: Buying situation differences
AuthorLeonidou, Leonidas C.
SourceJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
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Purpose - Despite the critical role of the industrial buying situation in shaping buyer behavior and seller response, little research has been conducted to augment extant knowledge on the subject. To fill this gap, this article focuses on influence strategies that industrial buyers exert on their suppliers in different buying situations. Design/methodology/approach - The study received information from 122 Greek producers of industrial goods through a mail survey based on a semi-structured questionnaire. This incorporated 24 influence strategies equally divided into six groups (legalistic, coercive, reward, expert, referent, and informational), and respondents were asked to specify their degree of agreement or disagreement, whether these are used by their customers in three buying situations (straight re-buy, modified re-buy, and new task). Findings - The study revealed that: industrial customers use a wide array of influence strategies, with those based on referent, expert, or legalistic sources being more widely employedinfluence strategies vary in degree of application according to buying situation, and are least used by new-task buyersand straight re-buyers tend to make greater use of expert, referent, and, to some extent, legalistic influence strategies, while modified re-buyers employ more coercive and, to a lesser extent, information-based influence strategies. Overall, influence strategies play an important role in industrial buying behavior, requiring sellers to treat customers differently in each buying situation. Originality/value - Several suggestions for future research are provided, such as replicating the study in different geographic contexts, monitoring changes of influence strategies as a buyer moves from one buying situation to another, and investigating the countervailing actions taken by suppliers. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.