Why People Buy

By: Thomas Young

Why do people buy? The answer may seem like common sense, but it is not. Most sales people have no idea why their customers buy. They assume that customers buy for their reasons, when in fact the opposite is true, and here is the common sense part: customers buy for their own reasons. Many companies still attempt to make customers buy for their reasons. You must understand why your customers buy your product or service.

Emotions First

The root of any buying decision is based on an emotional response that is based on perceived value or filling a need. This generally has no basis in logic or reason. There may be a certain amount of rationalizing after the purchase, but the actual decision to buy is almost always emotional.

Hot Buttons

Hot buttons are the emotional needs that when pushed result in a sale. In fact, people resist buying when their hot buttons are not identified. Hot buttons are unique to each person and are perceived differently by each customer based on what will make them feel good or meet emotional needs. The master sales person will find out those real benefits and emotional needs and push the hot buttons that result in a sale.

Choices Count

People have many options. Many times, the only factor that differentiates a product or service is what best appeals to the buyer’s emotions. It is important to understand these emotional hot buttons and use them to develop a competitive advantage. The most important part of marketing, and selling, is understanding why your target market makes the choices they make in purchasing your products or services. If this is not understood, then sales are probably going to competitors that do understand it.

Buying Signals

During the sales process a client will communicate buying signals. The sales professional realizes that every thing the customer does, or does not do, is a buying signal. Successful sales people can read and intuit these signals and use them as a profile of customer buying behavior.

The Buying Team

Successful sales people work well with multiple buyers and decision-makers by identifying roles, concerns and issues. What does each person bring to the sales transaction? What is their role in the buying process? What are their hot buttons? People will respond differently in a group and buying patterns will change. Ask Customers Why They Buy

Engage customers in areas that bring to the surface the mechanics of their buying process. In this way, the sales process becomes much more effective and focused on the core needs of the client. Go and ask your customers, “why do you buy?” The customer or prospect is often thinking the following:

  • Can I trust the sales person?
  • I do not have time for this.
  • I do not want to hurt the sales person’s feelings.
  • What are his or her motives and intentions?
  • Is it safe to open up?
  • Everything is OK the way it is now, why change?
  • What will others think of this?
  • There may be a problem, but what the sale person is offering is not the solution, I want to find my own solution.
  • How can I postpone this?
  • The sales person’s solution is too risky.
  • The benefits do not out-weigh the risks.
  • There is no solution to this problem.
  • I am not convinced I need to buy
  • How can I buy?

Ask for the Sale

Finally, the sales master asks for the sale. Most sales people never ask for the sale because the don’t think the customer wants to buy when in fact the customer is wondering, “How do I buy?” Remember, people buy based on benefits defined by them, not by their sales person. Understand this basic principle and better know your customers and how to meet their needs.

Tom Young, MBA is president of Intuitive Websites, a sales training and marketing consulting firm helping companies increase revenues. He can be reached at 719-481-4040, or email at  tom@intuitivewebsites.com. For more articles like this one, visit his web site atwww.SalesTrainingPlus.com.