Reasons customers buy and don’t buy

Customers become customers when they buy and their buying decisions are based mostly on changes in their emotional states. Companies can try to influence those mind states through information but must always keep these emotions in mind to be successful in accomplishing a sale. A customer could be approaching a buying decision purely to gain – will the decision be rewarding or what can be got out of it. Another customer’s emotional state could be one of apprehension or even fear – if the decision is not made now it could create problems. Another reason is about looking good and smart – everyone is buying it and so it is the right thing to look good. Reasons customers buy and don’t buy can also be a combination of more than one emotional need.

Whatever the reason, the approach of the company must be to address these emotional needs since even if one of these needs is present in a customer, the buying will become inevitable. However, these emotions and customer beliefs change regularly. If the most prominent emotion is one to look good and buy because their competition has the product, then the marketing approach must be focused on showing how the product can help the customer to upturn their competitor’s cart.

Of course to be able to present your product based on the customer’s emotional needs, it is essential to listen and observe them carefully first. Understand clearly through the verbal and non-verbal signs the reasons customers buy and may not buy. The more research and analysis a company does on its target audience, the higher the possibility of knowing the reasons customers buy and how best to manage those reasons.

In this context, the information you provide to your customers obviously must surround the current emotional state of the customer. It is unwise to use old information repeatedly even with the same customer as the emotional needs could have very easily changed from the last meeting. Do your homework on how the customer perceives themselves, their competition and the resources in the market. Before blowing your horn about how great your company is, how beneficial the product is and how convenient your customer service is, make sure you see the reasons customers buy and in particular the prime reason for your target customer to buy. Everyone has an innate desire and need to first look out for themselves and customers would therefore not be any different. It’s not about being selfish but about getting the best and surviving in a rather fierce environment.

Irrespective of how good your company is the high reputation of your brand and whether or not your product is being claimed as being the ‘next breakthrough’, reasons customers buy will be solely based on what they need. The emotional state of the customer will only be catered to if the product and your marketing can answer their unspoken question of ‘what’s in it for me?’ And unfortunately your best orator or sales presentation will not be able to secure a sale if the product cannot address this question. So what are the reasons customers buy and how can your company make sure that you address their needs so appropriately that they buy only from you and keep returning with business. Cash in on these reasons and give them more reasons to buy and get more profit for your company.

There is no substitute for great customer service but before serving them, they must become customers. Here’s how what you can address ‘emotionally to make them and keep them customers:

– Strike while the customer is on the impulse buying mode. At this time the customer is on the verge of a purchase and all that is required is to do is show them how the product will benefit them in the current scenario. An impulse buyer wants to know what benefits can be got from the product and how it can add value to them immediately. Give them those reasons and you have made a same and possibly a customer for long time.

– Amongst the reasons customers buy, stature and supremacy seems paramount. They want the products to make them look good physically and also look good in a social setting. They want to appear ‘better’ before their peers, friends and most certainly competition. Not everyone may admit to this, but it is true. Your company’s promotion should therefore address this need and show the customer as to how they can enhance their social status and prominence through the use of your product. Not only will they buy the product, they would also continue to crave it for a long time to come since this need hardly ever goes away!

– Another need that always seems to acquire a place of prominence is the need to feel and look good physically. Is it any wonder then that companies that have products that make people skinnier, fitter and prettier and even look younger are multi-billion dollar companies? They are constantly addressing the physiological need of people to feel proud of their physical appearance.

– It is human nature that if one person has something or is doing something everyone around seems to want it especially if the item or thing seemingly adds importance and prestige. Your company must promote the product in a way that says something like the product is a limited buy and losing out on buying it would mean a loss. Add facts and figures, customer testimonials and some hard data to show how the product has benefited others and therefore how it can benefit them too. Show them that the product is ‘trendy’ and is ‘making waves’.

You should be able to master the art of ‘conditioning’ your customer’s mind positively towards using and recommending your products. Reasons customers buy seems a lot clearer now we think. To up the ante on your selling, knowing the converse would also help to improve your company’s selling prospects:

– The most basic and simple reason would be that customers are unaware that your product exists. If they don’t know about your product, they cannot buy it. The problem lies in how your company is positioning the product, the channels used for promotion, the target audience not being adequately reached and other such reasons. To ensure that your product does not fail for these reasons, devise a new strategy or tweak the current one to enhance the reach of the publicity of the offerings.

– Worse than not knowing about your product is not understanding the use and benefits of the product. Since customers do not buy only on the basis of price, a product would be of no use if they did not know how it could benefit them, address their needs and be a value-add for them. Ensure that your company puts across at least the top three reasons and value-adds the products can bring to the customer in the next marketing campaign. Highlight these reasons and play down the price, especially if it is even slightly above current market rates. If customers are convinced of the benefits to them they will buy. The idea is to create a perceived value of the product in such a way that they feel that they cannot do without your product. Give them no reason at all to bypass your product for another in the market.

– Show them in more ways than one how your company’s products not only meet their current needs but could possibly meet some future needs. Ensure to highlight how the product can positively affect their life, save time, address their pertinent need and such. Don’t make the customer guess the utility of your product – let them know even before they ask. This shows confidence and trust in your product which in turn will let your customer have these too. Show them why they need the product and why they must buy it now.

Smart companies and their representatives will first listen carefully and then skilfully ask questions that will lead the customers to a point of comfort. When they reach this point they would voice their concerns and deepest need allowing you to make your offering as relevant and useful to them. Give them clear and unmistakeable reasons to buy and they will. Repeatedly!

“Stellar service should be non-negotiable and merchants shouldn’t hide behind self-service tools and technology when it comes to knowing their products and taking care of their customers.”- Lauren Freedman

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