Feb 1, 2008

Why Do You Buy?

I was in a meeting a while ago. As I recall, Amy, a very skilled sales manager asked the very intelligent question:

"Why do you buy?"

Someone asked, "What do you mean?"

Again, Amy asked, "I'll clarify. Instead of thinking about why OTHER people buy your stuff, why do YOU buy stuff other people sell?"

"Hmm. Good question," I thought.

A salesperson volunteered, "I like to buy things on sale. If something is on sale, I'm much more compelled to buy."

My gut told me that saving money wasn't the key reason. "Okay. That's one reason," Amy said as she smirked a bit, "But a sale is just a "saving money" thing. That can't be the only reason we buy, as there's a lot of stuff on sales racks we walk right by every day. So, what's the real reason people buy from you?"

I could tell by Amy's expression that my gut was right. I thought about it for a moment. Then, it struck me. I buy because I'm PASSIONATE about something. Period. If I don't love it, I don't buy it. So, I stuck my hand in the air:

"I buy because I'm PASSIONATE about something."

"EXACTLY," Amy, the group leader's eyes sparked up, "People buy because they're passionate, and they buy from you whenever YOU'RE passionate about what you're selling. So, get passionate about why they buy, the emotional benefits from what we offer, and help them passionately discover how they can benefit from that choice. I went out and wrote two deals that day with this thought in mind. Passion is more fun, too. If you sell from passion, and you sell to passion, guess what? You are changing people's lives for the better. And, that is a good reason to sell anything.

Tami, someone dear to me, recently upgraded to a new set of Cutco knives. This purchase was the result of a guy making a home sales call. She called me and told me: "I'm upgrading my knives today!"

"Really?" I replied. "What kind of knives?" I asked this, knowing how much she likes to cook (and she can cook well, I'll attest).

"Cutco!" Her passion clearly hung in the air when speaking of these knives... "I'm excited - I can add several knives that do things my current set doesn't, and round out my steak knives, too as a bonus," Tami explained. "Not only that, but I got them at a discount. It's going to make cooking even more fun!"

"How much did it cost to upgrade?" I asked. The thought of the Kirby salesman convincing my Mom to buy that clunky vacuum with 15 attachments when I was 8 years old flashed through my mind...

"Five hundred dollars," she replied sheepishly, "but don't tell anyone - I don't want them to know what I paid for these."

Is that passion, or what? You'll buy something really expensive because of the quality and the functionality, but moreso because you can enjoy something passionately because of the increased functionality. At least, Tami did. That's passion at work in the sales process. I can guarantee you that if I asked Tami again, a week after the delivery of the new knives, why she loves her new knives, she'll have reasons, but they'll all relate to her passion for cooking. The salesman did his job, and sold to the passion, then justified the purchase with logic of "on sale" and "bonus knives to complete the set."

Bingo! That's why you buy, too. I'd put money on it. People buy from emotion, and justify with logic. Trigger something they're passionate about, then throw a little logic behind it (statistics, a discount, a bonus, etc.) and Ka-CHING! You've got a sale. But you get the sale because you lead with EMOTIONAL BENEFITS. It works, truly, it really works.

So, rather than think of all the stuff that you often lead with, such as your company statistics, or how may years this and that, or features of your product, why don't you try to find the PAIN or the NEED in something your prospect PASSIONATELY DESIRES and see if that doesn't help you discover the TRUE reason why your prospects buy from you. How do they benefit, emotionally, from owning and using your product or solution? Dig for that, and sell to that. You can then justify it with logic as you go through your product and company demonstration, but if you can't find the emotional reasons they're buying you're missing sales opportunities. So, start with the passion.

Then, from now on, sell to that need. You'll probably see your sales numbers go through the roof, as mine does whenever I use this technique.

I just used it yesterday and today I'm working on two new sale opportunities. Passion sells better than anything else I know.

And, if you'd like to get more tips like this, but in a structured format, I can customize training for your group. I'm passionate about sharing ways to help you grow your business, because I love seeing people jacked-up about success.

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