Why People Buy

“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,” says Vistage speaker Thomas Wood-Young . Here are some key ideas to remember about why customers buy.

  • Emotions First. “The root of any buying decision is an emotional response based on perceived value or filling a need. Therefore, the actual decision to buy is almost always emotional,” says Wood-Young.
  • Hot Buttons. “Hot buttons are unique to each person and are perceived differently by each customer based on what makes them feel good or meets their emotional needs. The master sales person finds those real benefits and emotional needs and pushes the hot buttons that result in a sale.”
  • Buying Signals. During the sales process a client communicates specific buying signals, Wood-Young notes. “Everything the customer does, or does not do, is a buying signal. Successful salespeople learn how to read and intuit these signals and use them to build 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, Wood-Young explains. “What does each person bring to the sales transaction? What is their role in the buying process? What are their hot buttons?”

    Engage customers in areas that bring to the surface the mechanics of their buying process. “Ask your customers, ‘Why do you buy?'” The answers will show that the customer or prospect is often thinking the following:

  • Can I trust the salesperson?
  • I don’t have time for this.
  • I don’t want to hurt the salesperson’s feelings.
  • What are his or her motives and intentions?
  • Is it safe to open up?
  • Everything is OK the way it is now, so why change?
  • There may be a problem, but what the salesperson is offering isn’t the solution. I want to find my own solution.
  • How can I postpone this buying decision?
  • The salesperson’s solution is too risky.
  • The benefits don’t outweigh the risks.
  • There is no solution to this problem.
  • I’m not convinced I need to buy.
  • Ask for the Sale. Finally, the sales master asks for the sale. “Most salespeople never ask for the sale because they 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 salesperson.”
    Thomas Wood-Young is president of Wood-Young Consulting, a Colorado Springs, Colorado-based marketing and sales training firm.

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