Understanding the Reasons People Buy

"Knowledge is the only instrument of production that is not subject to diminishing returns." - J.M. Clark

In order to become a cunningly clever salesperson, it is necessary to truly understand why people buy a particular product or service. You must also determine what it is they think they are buying, for it’s not always the same thing.

People buy only two things. They don’t buy cars, computers, or golf lessons.

They actually buy:

• good feelings
• solutions to problems

Let’s examine this simple but often-missed idea more closely. People do not buy your service or product. They buy the perception of how they imagine that service or product will make them feel and of what it will do to help them.

Do people buy a lawnmower so they can cut the grass? Not really. Do they buy a lawnmower so they will have the best looking lawnmower on the block? Of course not! They buy a lawnmower so they can have the best-looking lawn on the block.

Do they buy hammers to pound nails? No! They buy hammers to build things.
People always buy to satisfy their own needs and desires. It is important to understand this concept. It is overlooked all too often. Many a salesperson tries to sell based on features of his company, previous awards, years of experience, and so on—all attributes that he or she thinks will be important to the customer, but which, in reality, are not. Do not make this mistake. You must see your product or service as it is perceived through the eyes of your customer.

In the martial arts business, this mistake was often made as an instructor told a prospect that his particular style dated back to 100 BC, or explained in detail all the different belts and degrees the prospect could achieve in the practice of various styles. But 99.9% of the prospects couldn’t care less. In the real-estate business, this mistake manifests itself in statements on brochures and listing presentations like “10 million dollars in sales” or“member of the million dollar club.” All I want to know and all the rest of the world wants to know is: What can you do for me? Can you sell my home?

What Have YOU Bought Lately?

Perhaps one of the best—and seldom used—weapons in any salesperson’s arsenal is, as the saying goes, to walk a mile in the other person’s moccasins. Closely analyze the reasons that you used to rationalize your recent purchase of a particular product or service. Have you bought clothes, a computer, or car? Take a moment to think why you bought the specific style, model, or product. What picture did you have of yourself in your own bubble? You may have bought clothes to keep you warm, but the chances are you also bought them in your favorite colors so you would feel and look good! If you bought a computer, perhaps you said it was so you could save time, increase performance, or educate your children. But instead you bought XYZ model because it was a status symbol.Remember to think like a customer as well as a salesperson.

Prospective customers will gladly sign on the dotted line when they believe your product or service will bring them enjoyment or provide a solution to any problem they may be experiencing. Therefore, to make a successful sales presentation, you must first find out what problems your prospective customers need to have solved, and what emotions they are trying to experience from buying your service or product.

Selling from the prospect’s perspective will always produce more sales. Uncover the prospect’s desired end result and motivation.

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