The buying centre usually includes many participants who influence each other. The business marketer often finds it difficult to determine what kinds of interpersonal factors and group dynamics enter into the buying process. As one writer notes; 'Managers do not wear tags that say "decision maker" or "unimportant person". The powerful are often invisible, at least to vendor representatives.'2" Nor docs the buying-centre participant with the highest rank always have the most influence. Participants may have influence in the buying decision because they control rewards and punishments, are well liked, have special expertise, or have a special relationship with other important participants. Interpersonal factors are often very subtle. Whenever possible, business marketers must try to understand these factors and design strategies that take them into account.
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