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VOL. 125 | NO. 218 | Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lori Turner

Lori Turner-Wilson

Why People Buy – The Psychology Behind ‘Yes’

LORI TURNER | Special to The Daily News

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It takes more to get a “yes” from a prospect than a strong product with compelling benefits. The psychology behind buying is complex.

Most consumers make a purchase decision first with their emotions, later justifying that decision with logic.

Research shows the emotional part of the brain sending 10 times the data to the rational part of the brain than it receives in return.

So, first touch the heart, and then present your facts. Frontload your sales pitch with benefits likely to evoke a strong emotional response. Then seal the deal with the rational justification.

You’ll have greater success if you understand the prospect’s emotional and rational drivers. Here are some common buyer profiles:

Survivor Buyer – Many consumers buy to fulfill basic needs – food, clothing and shelter. Today’s consumers, though, have redefined “basic.” For example, the professional who believes he must have the latest iPhone to “survive” so he can appear successful at work and advance his career.

Convenience Buyer – Time is precious. Make the case for your product or service saving the prospect time. For example, if you run a plumbing business you might charge $50 to arrive in a four-hour window or agree to arrive at a specific time for $75. Many consumers would willingly pay this “convenience fee.”

Scarcity Buyer – Apple is known for creating a sense of scarcity with its new products. Loyal customers are trained to pre-order products before they’ve even tried them. How do you create scarcity? Follow Apple’s lead and limit product distribution early on. Or, if you have a small business, explain to your prospects that you only work with “select” clients.

Prestige Buyer – A prestige buyer is willing to pay $200 for a pair of “7 For All Mankind” jeans versus $40 for a pair of Levis. The jeans’ features are similar but 7 jeans are positioned to make consumers believe the people who wear them have a higher social standing.

Community-Focused Buyer – Social buyers love being part of something bigger. A social buyer may buy the Harley brand to join the Harley community. Creating a strong customer community can attract social buyers.

Value-Minded Buyer – When your product’s perceived value substantially outweighs the cost, you appeal to value-minded buyers. Wholesale clubs like Costco drive value-minded buyers to buy more product than they need and rationalize it with perceived value.

Fearful Buyer – Alleviating a prospect’s fears is a powerful selling point. If you sell IT support services, ask your prospect, “When considering your current technology solution, what keeps you up at night?” If you can eliminate that fear, you’ll have your prospect’s attention.

So next time you’re talking to prospects, listen for cues about what kind of buyer they are and be willing to adjust your sales pitch to match.

Lori Turner is managing partner of RedRover Sales & Marketing, www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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