Why Do People Buy? Providing Solutions and Obtaining Commitment

In order to be successful at selling we must be able to identify the reasons people buy.  As simplistic as this seems, we must always keep in mind that people buy for their reasons–not ours.  Our reasons tend to be based on logic, facts and features.  When is the last time you made a purchase based solely on the facts and logic presented by the salesperson?  There needs to be more in it for the buyer.  Think of the content of your sales calls, your presentations, and your proposals.  Is there something beyond the facts and figures for your customers to identify with?

You hear frustrated salespeople all the time saying, “My customer is crazy for not taking me up on this offer.  By implementing my recommendation, they will be able to save thousands of dollars, eliminate a whole department, and reduce inventory by 10%.”  The problem here is that the sales person in this scenario is transferring his/her buying reasons (based on logic) to the customer.  The customer isn’t buying for the salesperson’s reasons.  Customers buy for their reasons (based on emotion).  Behind every logical need lurks an emotional want.  If there is no emotional want, there will be no sale.  The salesperson’s mission must be to show their client how their product or service will fulfill a personal want as well as a logical need, as shown below:


more power                                                              increase sales

control others                                                           reduce cost

self-esteem                                                               return on investment

enjoyment                                                                 less risk

recognition                                                                better quality

more leisure                                                              increased productivity

fame and glory                                                          control

team player                                                               better service

risk taking                                                                  good price

This is not to underestimate the importance of logical buying reasons.  You won’t make the sale without the facts provided by the left brain.  But the battery that fires the buying spark plug is more likely to be in the right brain.  Yet most (sometimes all) of our focus as a salesperson is on the facts, the logics, and the business reasons.