Why Do People Buy?
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Why Do People Buy?

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On the face of it, that seems like the most basic of questions and the answer so blindingly obvious, that it doesn’t even need asked!

Basic sales training would suggest that people buy what they need so salespeople used to try to uncover a “need” and use that to justify why the prospect should buy their product: it satisfies the client’s need.

online sales - want vs need

That blunt instrument approach has translated into the online arena: people Google what they need, don’t they?

Well…maybe. But people are more sophisticated than mere seekers of satisfaction. There are three parts to this.

The first thing we buy, believe it or not, is other people. Think about it – given a choice, you would not buy anything from someone that you don’t like. So the first challenge that you have online is to sell you and your business. That is generally achieved by using the right kind of language (see previous article), by incorporating lots of images of people on your site and if at all possible by using “real” images of customers enjoying your product or benefiting from your service.

The next part of the equation deals with the “need”. In actual fact, people don’t buy what they need…they buy what they want. Example: if you were offered £50,000 to buy a car, any car, which would you choose? Now ask all your friends and family – guarantee you will get a different answer from each of them, and almost certainly one will say a bicycle so they can pocket the money. This is because the “need” is to get to work, but the want is to look good, drive fast, feel great or have spare cash!

The last part is all about that want. The buyers of the £50k car may want leather seats, but not because they are made from dead animals! They will want them because it makes them feel good; it may make them feel successful even. So people buy not just what they want, but what they perceive it will give them.

So, for optimum success, your website needs to be set up so that it can discover what your customer wants, why that is important to them and then show them how to get it by using your services and/or products.

Simple... just really hard work!

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About The Author

After 30 of running my own IT businesses, I've seen trends come, go...and come back again. With each business I've been involved in, the focus has always been on building in value for my customers. I was honoured to receive an OBE for my services to Scottish business in 2018.

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