The Psychology of Buying

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Does a salesperson sell a product, service or idea or does the customer buy what the salesperson has?

A mixture of the two maybe the most common answer but with customers having a far better understanding of traditional sales techniques and being sat in front of the biggest information resource known to man in their PC’s, it’s becoming ever increasingly difficult to simply sell a product in the standard tired way.

For the past 5 years I have been on a crusade to identify not what techniques sell but rather how a customer buys. What motivates them to part with their hard earned money? What gives them to confidence to choose you over a competitor? Why do they turn down fantastic products, services and ideas that will only help them to achieve their own goals?

The first thing you have to identify is that your customers are ‘Professional Non Buyers’. If you have been taught to use a discount close or an alternative choice close, (which I am sure still have their place) then you have to understand that your customers have trained their sales team to use the exact same techniques.

Here lies the problem… With a customer knowing and training the very strategies you are employing has the effect of you simply cancelling each other out.

The ‘Psychology of Buying’

To show how people are motivated to buy the BluPrint employs its own tried and tested questionnaire to identify certain characteristics and traits about the buying and non buying process. What you have below is a small extract from over 40 questions which will show a couple of buying motives that will have immediate impact and financial value.

Now, simple read the questions as ‘stand alone’ exercises and quickly write down the first answer that comes to you because if you think about it too long there is the possibility of it not working. Ready…

1. After weeks of trying you haven’t managed to get tickets to a once in a life time event. (Concert, World Cup Final). On arriving at the venue you approach a gentleman and ask to buy his ticket (Not a tout). He has paid £500 but how much would you offer him?

2. A senior member of staff asks for a volunteer to do a task for him. He reads out the following aspects to the task. Note at what point/number will you back away from volunteering?
a. You’ll have to be at work for 1:30am
b. It will take you 7 ½ hours to drive there and 7 ½ to get back
c. You’ll be driving a 12 year old, diesel white van
d. When you get there you’ll be greeted by an angry customer
e. You have to stay on site until all problems are resolved before driving back
f. We’ll give you a forty pounds food and drink allowance
g. You’ll get the rest of the week off or an additional 3 days holiday
h. There is a twenty five thousand pound bonus for completing the task

3. After weeks of enquiring you receive the tickets to a once in a life time event. (Concert, World Cup Final). Whilst in the queue waiting to enter the stadium a gentleman approaches and asks to buy YOUR ticket. The ticket has cost you £500. How much would he need to offer you to stop you from entering the once in a life time event?

The Value of Emotion

In 91% of the time your answer for question 3 will be higher than for question 1.
The reason? Emotional Value.

Even though you physically never owned that ticket you instantly attributed a monetary value based on the emotions you would have felt. Put in other words the value needed to stop you experiencing the emotions of the event is far higher than the cost of a ticket to get in. This then is why we all have a drawer at home full of worthless junk that we can’t get rid of. How much in is your grand fathers broken watch or your childs first mothers/fathers day card worth to you? The emotion is what will cost the money NOT the object!

Now imagine the emotions your customer has invested in the product you are trying to replace. The orders it has gotten him, the cheery old guy that used to use it and the fact it’s never let them down. That product is an old friend that has had a lot of emotion placed onto it which when you try and remove it turns into a worth that unless you know how you can not ever compete with. Interesting eh?

No wonder the position of salesperson is becoming more difficult! Strip away the emotion by getting them out into the future using your product and have them see what joy, happiness and increased wealth it will bring, how much easier and less stressed the staff will become, then talk and question about their current product as the inanimate item/service it is. More details and videos on the website.

It’s all in the Order

And finally…

This strategy is what I call ‘Ordering’ and can be the single most important strategy for anyone giving a sales presentation or making a telemarketing call.

When did you decide that you didn’t want to volunteer for the task? For 83% of people the shear mention of point (e) and having to stay on site is the final straw and they loose the desire for the task if not before.

But how many of you turned down the task BEFORE you got to the final 2 points which were the ones that would have had you say YES YES YES if only they had been ordered at the front! Who cares about a 15 hour driving day for £25,000?

Now you know this little known persuasion secret, will you now use your generic sales pitch and standard ‘order’ of feature benefits or will the fact that how you start a presentation and how it will have enormous effect on the ‘perceived value’ of your product, service or idea have given you a whole new insight to how your customers buy from you? Ordering your presentation correctly to the real needs and wants of your customer will make a huge difference to you conversion rates and massive increases on your bottom line.

Gary May is the Founder-Co Owner of the Business Acceleration BluPrint.


Published On: 26th Jun 2008

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