You probably make purchases every single day without thinking about why you’re doing it. Of course you make some purchases because you need to, but you’re probably not consciously choosing a product and asking yourself, “why did I buy this product instead of the other?”
In some situations, you make purchasing decisions for fairly obvious reasons – you have a need or you need to solve a problem, and we’re not going to cover those, because they go without saying.
But there are tons of other reasons why people buy stuff, and when you understand those reasons, you can make more informed decisions as a business owner about the way you frame, market and present your products and services.
And that’s exactly what we’re going to do in this article.
I’m going to share the psychology of the buyer with you, and when you’re finished reading, you’ll be able to use that information to be smarter and more effective with your sales and marketing.
What Makes People Buy From You
Buying to gain a sense of status or luxury has been around for ages. People love to show off their status symbols, and they’ll pay a lot of money to do so.
When it comes to luxury, look at products like watches or even clothes. After a certain point, quality and style even out, and all that’s left is spending money to own a certain brand.
This aspect of buyer psychology is more prevalent than it ever has been because of social media. Never before have people been able to show off their status symbols with such visibility.
How does this apply to you? While you can establish a brand to brag about, as a coach it’s more likely that the end result of your services will be worthy of showing off. You can keep this in mind as you craft sales pages and focus your branding, choosing to acknowledge how impressive the end result will be.
Sometimes we need a product or service that gets the job done fast, but many times we want the product or service that gets the job done the best.
The great thing about quality is, we all associate a higher price with higher quality. We expect that when we pay more for something, we get a better product than the competitors.
The opposite is also true because lower prices are associated with lower quality.
This is why it’s so important to price your products and services to match their quality. When you have a high quality product to offer, people will pay a higher price because they’re making their purchasing decision (at least partly) based on the desire for high quality.
This psychological aspect of purchasing is also called social proof, and it’s powerful.
Buyers are far more likely to make a purchase if they feel the brand or company has a good reputation. Think about the last time you traveled and tried to find a restaurant. You probably went on Yelp or similar review site.
We look for social proof all the time, and it can often be the deal breaker or deal maker.
We trust the opinions of others, and it’s why every online entrepreneur you’ve seen uses client testimonials on their sales pages. It alleviates skepticism and builds trust.
Social proof is elevated when we can attach a face and name to that reputation. That’s also most testimonials online come with a picture and first name. When the review is personalized, it feels more trustworthy
Purchases are made out of convenience all the time. It’s how convenience stores stay open for business despite the common knowledge that their prices are usually much higher than grocery stores or pharmacies.
When a purchase takes too much time or hassle, we are far less likely to make it, even if it means sacrificing quality.
Everyone knows fast food is terrible for you, but it’s a thriving business because it’s a convenient business. The prices are low and the quality matches, but the ease and swiftness is hard to beat.
So, what’s the takeaway for you? You don’t need to sacrifice quality to be convenient. Just make sure your products and services are easy to purchase. The more links someone has to click, the more information they have to enter, and the longer it takes to load a page can all increase the amount of walk-aways that never come back.
We all love to save money, and even though we associate low prices with low quality, the same is not true of sale prices, promotions and discounts.
Promotions and discounts can make buyers feel like they’ve won a game. Think about the last time you went to the grocery store and saw that a favorite brand of yours – an expensive, high quality brand – was on sale. It’s a very satisfying and exciting feeling.
Sometimes, purchasing decisions are made simply because a product is on sale. This plays on the feeling of missing out because buyers know that discounts don’t last forever, and imagining a future regret is a powerful emotion.
Don’t feel like putting your products or services on sale temporarily will cheapen them in any way. It’s a great way to create a sense of urgency and inspire buyers who might be on the fence to commit to a purchase.
Never underestimate the power of fun and entertainment. Just look at how much money Hollywood spends on its productions and you’ll see that there must be a huge return on their investments.
Entertainment, of all kinds, is a gigantic industry, and people are willing to spend a lot of money to have fun. Think about the last time you bought concert tickets, festival tickets or maybe even vacation splurges like cruises or casinos. All of those purchases are fairly expensive and their sole purpose is leisure.
No one wants to be bored, so keep that in mind when you create content or market your products and services. People are willing to pay for a good time, so even if your market is serious, adding an element of fun and excitement can encourage a sale.
Just like people will pay a lot of money to have fun, they’ll pay a hefty amount to avoid any kind of discomfort as well.
This isn’t just physical discomfort, but mental, emotional and social discomfort too.
Keep in mind, these purchases aren’t made to alleviate pain, they’re made to prevent it altogether.
You can see how advertisers use this to their advantage by watching nearly any commercial on television. Pay close attention next time you watch a gum or mint commercial. Rather than focus their message on the sweet taste or pleasurable experience of the treat, they’ll talk about how embarrassing bad breath is. What’s the result? People typically buy mints and gum to avoid the discomfort of social embarrassment.
What discomforts does your product or service help prevent? When you’re writing your sales material, try re-focusing some of your copy to explain the discomfort someone might feel if they don’t buy from you.
It’s a powerful tool, but be strategic about using it. Overuse gets into the territory of pushy, so consider all the other reasons people make purchases before flooding your copy with negatives.
That leads us to the last reason people make purchasing decisions, one that you can keep in mind, but should avoid overusing.
It’s the reason sleezy used car salesmen have a bad reputation, and the reason some commercials and advertisements make your stomach churn.
People can often easily be convinced to make a purchase out of any negative reason like fear, guilt or overindulgence. Wisdom tells us that decisions mades from these emotional states are usually unhealthy, and often regretted.
Because buying is such an emotional decision, it’s easy to manipulate someone to make a purchasing decision based on these negative feelings. But doing so is a bad idea for both you and the customer.
Since emotions are fleeting, buyers often feel what’s commonly referred to as “buyer’s remorse” when they’ve these types of purchases. Other than the nasty feelings you might get from capitalizing on people’s emotions, you’ll also get a bad reputation, unsatisfied customers and a short-lived business.
The Final Takeaway
As you buy products and services over the next week, pause and ask yourself why you’re making the decision. Your first instinct will be “I have a need,” but dig a little deeper, and see if you can uncover the underlying reasons why you chose the exact product you did.
When you start to analyze your purchasing decisions, you may discover how other companies are using buyer psychology to market and advertise to you.
As you do so, you’ll learn what’s really effective, what feels right to you, and what you can use to increase your sales.
Are you ready to discover how to put this knowledge to use in the most effective way possible? In the Business Mastery Certification program, you’ll learn how to use buyer psychology to draw in ideal clients, hook them on to your message, build trust and authority and increase your sales. Find out more here.