The Sales Simplicity Series: Why They Buy
This is the last of three posts in the Sales Simplicity Series which teaches simple sales strategy for business.
Today we’re going to cover what might be the most important topic of all: Why people buy.
Simple But Powerful
This series was written to familiarize you with a few basic but powerful sales concepts. That being said, if you take nothing else away from this series, let it be this phrase:
People buy for their reasons – not ours.
It’s a widely used phrase about buying motives, and I wish I knew who I could attribute it to – because it’s brilliant.
It’s brilliant because it’s simple and true.
If You Can’t Stand The Heat, Don’t Sell The Kitchen
Years ago, my wife and I were looking for our first home.
When our real estate agent showed us a home, we noticed that he spent an awful lot of time showing us the kitchens and talking about all the fantastic features of those kitchens.
We found that to be a bit on the weird side because while neither of us had anything in particular against kitchens, it was nowhere near the top of either of our priority lists. My wife was more interested in the master bedroom and bathrooms – and I wanted a big basement and a nice yard.
Had our agent known that (or bothered to pick up on it while we openly talked about it in front of him) he might have been able to cut the time of his sales cycle in half. And if he consistently cut his sales cycle in half, he’d have made more sales… and more money.
See? The basics really are vitally important.
What our agent failed to understand is that prospects don’t buy because of the features the salesperson thinks are cool.
Prospects also don’t buy because of your superior product or your low price.
Do You Know What You Don’t Know?
Most businesses feel very confident that they understand their prospects’ reasons for buying… but in many cases, they’re mistaken.
To see if you’re on the right track or not, answer these 4 questions honestly…
1. Do you lose a lot of sales based on price objections?
2. Do you have trouble getting people to respond to you? (email/phone)
3. Are you frustrated by the fact that some competitors seem to be doing better than you?
4. Do you think the “bad economy” is primarily to blame for your low sales?
If you were honest in answering – and you have at least two or three “yes” answers in there, I have some bad news. You’re not very in tune with the buying motives of your prospects buy.
The Real Reasons They Buy
Like most powerful concepts, the real reasons people buy are incredibly simple. Not easy – but simple. Here are the six reasons that, in my experience, people choose to buy.
1: They Buy Because They Understand What You’re Selling.
This means that you’ve very clearly and simply explained the features and benefits of your offering. Whether you talked with them one-on-one or explained it in writing – you have thoroughly explained and clarified what your offering is, what it does, and how it can help your prospect.
2: They Buy Because The Value is High and The Price is Fair
Value is different than price. Value is about relative worth. A service that saves you 100 hours but only costs you $200 is a great trade off. It’s high in value. Price is just price.
If value is high, people will pay more for it – as long as they price is perceived as being fair in comparison to the value received.
3: They Buy Because There’s Something Different About You
Call it what you want: Niching down, differentiation – whatever. Prospects can see when you have a different attitude or culture than everyone else, and that’s a big deal these days. What is that little extra buh-zing that you can provide that no one else can? Figure it out and make sure others can see it.
4: They Buy Because They Believe Your Offering Will Impact Profit or Productivity
It’s your job to show them how what you offer can impact productivity and profitability.
5: They Buy Because They Understand the Selling Relationship
A lot of people have misplaced guilt over selling. I suppose it has something to do with getting paid for doing it - which makes no sense at all to me.
This goes back to the popular but wrong idea that selling is something you do to someone. In reality, selling is something you do with or for someone.
Your prospects need to know that there’s a reciprocal relationship in the selling process. They buy something from you that makes their life or business better – and in return you get money to make your life or business better.
There’s no reason to pretend that’s not the case. You’ll find that as long as your customer is receiving value, they will take great pride in seeing you succeed as a result of their patronage.
6: They Buy Because of YOU
Perhaps the most powerful reason of all - people buy because they like you, trust you, and have faith in you. It takes time to develop credibility and trust, but once you do, the relationship can’t help but follow.
The simple truth is that when you reach out to get to know someone on a meaningful level and you serve them well over time, they become a fan… and if you’re lucky, a friend.
Which brings me to another of my all-time favorite sales sayings…
If you can’t make a sale, make a friend.
A non-client friend can still think highly of you and tell everyone they know about you even if they never give you a penny of business. And remember - today’s non-client friend is tomorrows client. Plus… it’s the right way to live.
Use It or Lose It
Implementing these concepts is relatively easy. Before you engaging in any sales or marketing efforts, simply create questions based on the six points above to double-check whether or not you’re properly focusing on the buyer.
1: Have I thoroughly explained my offering?
2: Am I offering substantial value?
3: Have I clearly differentiated myself from my competitors?
4: Does my offering clearly impact the buyer’s productivity or profitability?
5: Have I been honest about, and made my prospect comfortable with, the selling relationship?
6: What have I done to engage with and endear myself to my prospect?
If you come from a place of servitude and understand the reasons prospects buy, you will sell to more people and you will have happy, repeat customers. Period.