sales psychology

Why People Buy

Perceived Value Or Why Prospects Buy

Have you ever heard of the term “neuromarketing”? From a salesperson’s point of view, it relates to how the human brain perceives value, or how and why buyers make buying decisions based on psychology.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you have probably figured out my fascination with the psychology of sales. Why people make the decisions they do, especially … why people buy.

95% of our thinking takes place in our subconscious minds. Our conscious thoughts analyze our behaviors.

Because your buyers are human, they make their decisions based on their subconscious thoughts, or their emotions, and they justify their decisions based on their conscious thoughts, or facts.

Why Buyers Buy
How Buyers Buy

Very simply, our brains are divided into three parts.

The neocortex–the part of our brain that analyzes and processes all the data we get every day.

The limbic system is the emotional part of your brain.

And the brain stem, which is responsible for your survival. It assesses every situation to see if you are in danger, and it tries to stop you from doing things that it perceives risky or even dangerous for you to do.

Unfortunately, some of the things that the brain stem sees as risky or dangerous are based on things that may not serve us as well as they used to.  The flee or fight mentality has strong connections to an old way or life. Survival going back to a way when we were hunters and gatherers. Luckily, we are able to recognize some of these differences and determine the danger or risk quickly.

This perceived risk can trigger hormonal responses that we can learn to overcome when we realize the risk is not really that big, or dangerous.

The brain stem is the part of your brain that responds more to the visual sense. It takes up most of your brain’s resources.

Okay, so this is a great lesson for science geeks, but how does it relate to sales?

I’ll explain.

Why people buy what they do.

When you are meeting with a prospect, show your prospect that where they are today, right now, is unsafe compared to the solution you are offering them. By staying where they are, they are making a decision that can ultimately hurt them or the business.

The brain likes logical things with beginnings and endings.

And the brain is always looking for this pattern. That’s why people use a “hook” in advertising, to grab the brain stem’s attention.

Once you grab your prospect’s attention in your presentation, you can logically show them the steps to your solution. Then ask direct close questions like, “Does what I’m offering solve your problem?”. Or “Does this sound like something that would be valuable to your company?”. Or even “It seems like this is a good fit for you (or the company name). Do you agree?”

The brain stem also uses emotion to help you remember things that are important.

So getting that emotional response will help your prospects remember things longer. Make your message memorable.

A great way to get to your prospect’s emotional side is with a story. 

Stories about someone that you have helped before, and the outcome that they got.  Stories evoke emotion, and people are more likely to remember a good story and relate it back to you.

How to Help Your Prospects Make a Buying Decision
How to Help Your Prospects Make a Buying Decision

Keep your messages simple.

Don’t overload your prospect’s brain with too much information. No information overload – I know some salespeople use this “overwhelm confusion” as an actual sales tactic, but it doesn’t work, so don’t do it.

When your prospects are overwhelmed, you can see it in their eyes, when they literally start shutting down on you.

Your prospect has to hear and understand that your proposal is worth buying, and you have to hear and totally understand where your prospect is coming from – why they want what they want.

Create Value.

The closer you are to completely understanding what your prospect wants, and appealing to their emotion of why they want it, the easier it is for you to create value so they will want to buy from you.

But while you are creating that value, try to also appeal to the subconscious desire of wanting the best, or the newest. Bring their subconscious thoughts and feelings to the surface. 

Show the connection with what they want, or what they fear – and how buying your product or service will make their lives better or easier.  Paint that picture about the positive results your prospects will get by working with you.

Ask your prospect questions like “What do you like best, (and/or least) about whatever solution you are offering them, and the idea are you presenting?”

Ask them to share with you any concerns they might have about things you might not have covered. Because if you don’t ask, they won’t tell you.

Ask well-designed questions.

This will get your prospect to open up to you about what they’re actually thinking, so you can see what they already know, or assumptions they already have about your product or service.

Understanding what makes buyers buy is so important to your success.

It’s not just about your product, the services you offer, or you. It’s about them. Why they think they need, or don’t need what you are offering. What will make them move forward, or not. How and why people think the way they do, and why buyers buy.

I feel like I have spent my entire sales career trying to figure this out. It’s my biggest challenge, next to how do I get in front of more people.

Look at your prospects as intelligent humans that are capable of making Intelligent Decisions they just need a little help from you to overcome their fears — the fear of looking stupid, the fear of doing something wrong. 

That fear that actually can create that hormonal response that I mentioned earlier that we, as salespeople, must learn to diffuse, either with logic or humor, before the fear overtakes our prospect and renders them incapable of making a decision.

What is your biggest fear when making a buying decision? Let me know in the comments below.

Your prospects and customers are a lot like you – they have the same questions and fears that you do.

So help your prospects overcome their fears by understanding why they will buy, and why they won’t. Help them move forward today by showing them a solution that can change their life for the better.

Recent Posts:

Why A Confused Mind Never Buys

Have you ever heard the phrase “a confused mind never buys” before? Let me explain it, by sharing a story with you about the Jam Study of 2000

Yes, It’s a real thing.

People were offered 6 types of delicious jam, and after they tried the jam, they picked what they wanted and bought it.  Sale made!

BUT, when they changed up the study a bit, gave the testers 24 types of equally delicious Jam, they were 90% less likely to make a decision! 

I get this, because there is a flea market near me that has a pickle place. And the pickle place has 100 different types of pickles.

Have you ever heard the phrase “a confused mind never buys” before? Let me explain it, by sharing a story with you about the Jam Study of 2000.

I was thrilled, and I knew I would be bringing home some pickles with me that day. I’m always looking for a good garlic pickle, the old – fashioned ones they used to keep in a barrel. Anyway, easy sell, right? No! I tried all of them, at least it felt that way. But, I didn’t buy anything! For one, I was full, and I never wanted to eat another pickle ever again.

 And two, I was just overwhelmed with all the choices, and, a confused mind never buys.

 It’s the same for your customers. There are seven ways you can confuse your customers, and you might not even realize the confusion you could be creating.

We all want to show our potential clients how knowledgeable and capable we are.

But what are you really saying to your customer, or what are they really hearing? Are you using too much industry – speak, talking in a language your customer just doesn’t understand? Use what I call “simple speak”, almost like you are talking with a child in kindergarten, without insulting the customer’s intelligence, of course. Speak clearly, and with words your customers will understand. Even if they act like they understand, they may just be too embarrassed to tell you they don’t. And, a confused mind never buys. No sale.

Is the potential customer not exactly sure what you want them to buy?

Sometimes we will talk too much about what we offer, without asking good questions to learn more about the needs of the customer. And the potential customer may not be exactly sure what you’re asking them to do. Be clear about your offer and make it easy for them to make a decision.

What should your potential customer do next?

Are you asking for the sale? If they are already a customer, are you asking for the upgrade or the add on? Do you want them to give you a referral? Is there something that you need from them so that you can complete their project? Please don’t ask for everything at once. Make a list, and when it’s done, move on to the next thing. If you ask for everything all at one time, the customer will become confused, and you will accomplish nothing.

Does your potential customer understand why you are asking them to do something?

Why should they buy what you are offering? Yes, this sounds so simple, but it’s true. They understand what you’re saying, what you’re asking them to buy, but they may be wondering why you’re asking them to buy. Let them know why you feel this product or service would benefit them. Will it save them time or money? Protect them or their families in the time of crisis, or just provide entertainment and relaxation? Be clear on the value and benefit for them.

When will what you promised them happen?

What steps do they have to take? Give them a time frame or an agenda. A confused mind complains or gets upset if they feel you are not living up to your promises and their expectations. Make sure you are both on the same page.

What are you promising?

On top of the time frame of what will happen when, be clear on what your promise is! Sometimes the customer may think you have promised them something you did not promise them. I avoid this by writing down a list of the promised things, if they are not laid out in a contract. I have them review it with me, and I ask them if I missed anything. That way when a customer asks for something additional out later on, I can remind them of what we spoke about and offer to help them with their next step.

Stay in touch with them.

Don’t just take their money and run. After all, you have now established a relationship and they trust with them. You’ve done the hard work, don’t loose the benefits. It could be a phone call, an email, a handwritten note. Let them know you are thinking about them once in a while.

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Thanks for stopping by. Please leave your thought or questions in the comments below and I’ll be sure to respond quickly!