By Paul Cash CEO, Rooster Punk and author of Humanizing B2B

Most companies in the B2B world suffer from a delusion: Buyers make decisions in a rational, logical and economic way. That's why B2B marketing is a slew of campaigns, that proclaim the best features of their product or services.

But the field of behavioural economics has shown this is wrong. Instead, humans make decisions through the messy lens of gut feelings, emotions and cognitive biases, then justify with fact.

B2C brands have long been aware of this, hence the more creative campaigns with a focus on storytelling. B2B customers have evolved to be the same as B2C ones. They no longer want to buy from you, they want to buy into you. If you really want to grow as a business brand, you need to humanise your B2B marketing.

How do you do that? The first step is to focus less on products, and more on people.

In 1961, Coke was outselling Pepsi by a factor of 6 to 1. A young advertising executive named Alan Pottasch was hired by Pepsi to turn the tide. His message was: "stop talking about the product and start talking about the user". His campaign didn't talk about bubbles and flavour. Instead, it tapped into the desires of the young people forming their identity in the effervescent 60's.

Pepsi not only clawed back market share from Coke, they changed the rules of the game. Brands stopped selling customers better features and started selling customers better versions of themselves.

Today, brands must not only focus on selling personal improvement, but the  improvement of society at large. It is a sense of purpose, communicated with authenticity and integrity, that wins over hearts, minds and ultimately dollars. You may be very clear on what you do and how you do it. What your customers want to know is why. Putting purpose at the core of your business is the most powerful way of doing that.

Another common misconception when selling from business to business is that you're not selling to a human, but an organisation. However, organisations are composed of people; selling B2B services is as much about emotions as selling B2C.

Selling to people's emotions is all about using language and ideas that welcome people into your story. And, for people to fall in love with a story, they have to fall in love with the storyteller.

To be liked, you must be human. Language, tone, gestures, personality and content are all the building blocks of likeability. The more you act like a robot, the more your customers will treat you like one. Scrap the grey suits and intellectual jargon; speak to your audience like a long lost friend.

Finally, you need rock-solid storytelling. Being on the receiving end of effective story-telling releases three chemicals; dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins. This magic combination has been referred to as the ‘angel's cocktail'; it increases generosity, trust and bonding. Nobody wants a sales pitch but everyone enjoys a good story.