Today we’re talking about how customers and clients make buying decisions…
You see, only recently did I purchase a brand new snow-blower (I know, pretty exciting)
But the reality is, I’ve been shoveling snow for a whole lotta years.
What was it that finally tipped the scale and prompted me to go make this investment?
Well, as you may have guessed, there’s a number of factors involved.
And the same factors that play in my decision, are the same things that are going to influence your customers and your clients for your business.
So it pays to talk about them, it pays to understand them, and it pays to know so you can implement them in your business.
Alright, so the first factor involved in what prompted me to finally go buy a snow-blower was pretty much deciding on the
Pain vs Pleasure Aspect
And this is the same thing that your customers and clients go through when they’re trying to make a buying decision.
Basically they’re either doing it to avoid pain, or to get pleasure.
Now, in the case of a snow-blower, this is VERY much pain avoidance, cause I don’t know too many people that enjoy blowing snow…
But the reality is, if you’ve got snow, you gotta get it off the driveway.
So you can do it the old fashioned way, with a good ol’ shovel, which I’ve been doing for years, but really, it’s kind of a pain and it’s not a lot of fun, which is why I finally invested in getting that snow-blower.
Which really was to avoid the pain rather than to get pleasure of actually performing the task.
And this is the same thing that your customers and clients go through when they’re trying to decide on YOUR product or service.
Are they trying to benefit or get some sort of value from it in the form of pleasure?
Or are they trying to avoid pain in which case your business is going to help solve that.
Now here’s the thing: some people are going to be more motivated by the pleasure aspect of your product, and some are going to be more motivated by the pain-avoidance aspect of your product.
But if you had to put them against each other, the avoiding pain camp is going to be significantly stronger.
Because we’re often willing to do a lot more things to avoid pain than we are to get pleasure.
So when it comes to the messaging and phrasing, and all the marketing around your product, you want to make sure that you’re going to appeal to both sides of these camps by:
1. Highlighting the benefits of what’s going to happen if they do invest in your product, but also
2. Announcing and highlighting the negative aspects if they don’t take action
So basically, what’s going to happen if you do take action, and what’s going to happen if you don’t.
Which is going to allow you to cover both the pain, and the pleasure aspect.
The next way that customers make buying decisions is understanding that:
Most Purchases are Emotional Decisions
Even when it comes down to things like a snow-blower.
Now this is really important, because if you understand that someone’s coming in and they’re going to make an emotional decision first, and then back it up logically, it will very much influence the messaging and the style of marketing you decide to use.
This is why telling stories and trying to convey things with metaphor and simile and things like that are really effective in your marketing.
So any time you have the opportunity to tell a case story or give a testimonial, or show someone with a similar benefit, you’re gonna do amazingly well (compared to if you just give the cold hard facts, or the statistics or the raw data about the product).
When it comes to the snow-blower again, I didn’t really care how much snow it could move or how many RPM the motor was, or any of those things.
All I really cared about is, is it going to help me get the snow off my driveway?
Also, what really resonated with me was the messaging of this particular snow-blower.
It was a Greenworks, it’s battery-powered, it’s kinda hippie-ish, and clean energy, which is what people are into here on the West Coast, so it fit with the story that I tell myself about the kind of person that I am.
The third and final way that I want to cover about how customers and clients make buying decisions is in
Weighing the Value of the product or Service
(Keep in mind we’re talking about value here and not just cost.)
Of course there are those cost-sensitive customers out there who are strictly going to make decisions based on cost, but I would recommend that you don’t go for them in your business.
And you instead try to attract a value-based customer.
Now, when you’re going after the value-based customer, what they’re going to do, is they’re going to weigh the perceived costs of buying your product, vs. the perceived benefits they’re going to get from it.
And, if the perceived value is HIGHER than the perceived cost, they’ll often make the transaction.
If, on the other hand, you’re not telling a good enough story about the benefits, and the experience, and all the good things that are going to come with the product, in a nicely conveyed way, well they’re not going to really understand, and so they’re not going to be as apt to buy.
Your goal here in influencing the customers buying decision is to make your product or service as much of a no-brainer as possible.
Which means that the value is perceived to be far greater than the cost involved.
Alright, so let’s wrap this up.
The way that customers make buying decisions, and the 3 key principles that you can use to ethically influence them are:
#1 Keep in mind whether they’re trying to avoid pain or gain pleasure
#2 Understand that buying decisions are emotional, so always lead with stories first, and appeal to the emotions, and then back those up with the logical facts, statistics, case studies, and testimonials.
#3 Make sure that the perceived value of your product and service is significantly greater than the cost involved with acquiring what ever it is that you’re selling.