Why Do People Buy?
They don't want products. They want what the products do.
By Dave Donald and Jeremy Burkhardt
In the sales game, a few presuppositions can cloud the real issue. Many salespeople feel they need more information, knowledge and training on how to sell. Sales seminars are filled with research, analysis and field studies that show how various sales techniques affect the outcome of sales situations.
Unfortunately, most of this information is worthless because it doesn't address the most important issue. If you are to become a truly outstanding salesperson, you must possess the answer to the ultimate sales question: Why do people buy?
The fact is, we are constantly focusing on selling, when what we should be doing is determining why our customers buy.
And, more importantly, why they buy from us!
THEY LOVE TO BUY!
People actually love to buy and, frankly, hate to be sold. The most we can hope to do is influence their decisions in our favor.
And yet, the majority of sales books, articles and studies focus on selling, not buying. Let's look at this from a different perspective.
Money is a worthless commodity until it is traded for something we want. The joy of purchasing a new product is often more critical to our happiness than owning the product itself. In fact, the anticipation of making the purchase can be the most fulfilling part of the entire process.
Nowhere is this experience more magnified than in the purchase of home entertainment.
But wait! You still think people are buying product? In fact, that couldn't be further from the truth.
People don't want electronic components. They aren't sitting around fantasizing about the latest black box with the most lights, knobs and buttons.
People buy what these products do, not what they are!
Think about other types of products. People don't buy drill bits; they buy holes. They don't buy insurance; they buy peace of mind. They don't buy makeup; they buy beauty.
So when you are attempting to influence the decisions of your customers, it makes no sense to focus that conversation on the product.
Remember, they came to buy entertainment. Spend the valuable time you have with them discussing the astounding experiences your products and services are going to provide. Paint a verbal picture of the customer enjoying a movie in his or her new home theater, listening to a symphony or watching the Super Bowl. You will find the customer focusing on personal enjoyment and equating that feeling with you and your company.
People buy from people they like. If they believe you are responsible for making their lives better, they will like you. They will talk about you. They will refer you to their friends and they will come back to buy more.
GET EMOTIONally connected
It is important to understand that almost every decision your customers ever make is based on emotion. We all like to think that we carefully analyze a situation and then make the best decision based on hard facts, but that is rarely the case. Even the most analytical individual makes emotional decisions; he just confirms them with facts and analysis. It's the reason we all love to buy a magazine with a review of the car we already bought, just so we can confirm how brilliant we already know we are.
If you focus your presentation on the emotional impact of the purchase, you will find your customers nodding their heads and making subtle commitments before you ever ask for the sale. The greatest benefit in this process is that the customer is focusing more on what they want and less on what it will cost them to get it. We all assume customers are concerned about getting the lowest price, when in fact the price only needs to be fair.
Have you thought to ask?
Now if you really want to exponentially increase your sales, start asking your customers why they buy.
That's right: Look them right in the eye and ask them:
"Just out of curiosity, how do you select the companies you do business with?"
"How did you happen to choose us as one of the companies you would consider to design and install your new system?"
You will be amazed at the responses.
They may admit they were at a loss and simply liked your ad in the yellow pages. They may say they were referred to you by a friend who is thrilled with the system he purchased there. They may say they had driven by the store on a number of occasions and it seemed like the kind of place where people know what they're doing.
Whatever the response, it will give you additional insight as to what is important to them. Remember: What is important to them must be what is important to you.
After all, it's all about them. It's all about what they want, how they want it and how you can get it for them. Get in that frame of mind and you won't be able to stop them from deciding to buy.
And naturally, they will decide to buy from you.
Dave Donald is vice president of marketing and Jeremy Burkhardt is president of loudspeaker manufacturer SpeakerCraft.