Why Customers Buy

We need to go a little deeper here, to unpack why customers buy from you. The goal is to make explicit some of the things that are implicit about your business and your relations with customers. By raising your consciousness about what you’re doing to attract your best customers, you can see attraction and buying patterns. This allows you to create a sales and marketing process to attract more customers just like them, all the while upselling and cross-selling your existing customers.

The why customers buy starts with emotion. According to business writer Geoffrey James, there are six basic emotions motivating buying decisions:

  1. Greed. “If I make a decision now, I will be rewarded.”

  2. Fear. “If I don’t make a decision now, I’m toast.”

  3. Altruism. “If I make a decision now, I will help others.”

  4. Envy. “If I don’t make a decision now, my competition will win.”

  5. Pride. “If I make a decision now, I will look smart.”

  6. Shame. “If I don’t make a decision now, I will look stupid.”

The truth is that your customers buy within a certain context. They may have competitors breathing down their neck. They may have a boss who demands results yesterday. They may be angling for a promotion, and your product or service might be their ticket to (relative) stardom. It might also be the case that they need ammunition to make the case to their boss that working with your company is worthwhile.

Given these realities, the more you understand about what’s driving your best customers, the easier it will be to create an evaluation and buying experience that clicks with these customers and thus leads to more sales.

Great book for more information: 80/20 Sales and Marketing

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