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3 Reasons Why People Buy and How You Can Use Them to Increase Sales

Understanding why people buy is a key part of being successful in sales. In this post we look at the 3 reasons why people buy and how you can use this understanding to increase your sales.
3 Reasons Why People Buy and How You Can Use Them to Increase Sales
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Why Do People Buy?

When it comes to making purchases, we tend to be driven by 3 key things that cause us to part with our hard-earned money. These are the 3 main answers to the question of why do people buy?

In sales, it's important that we understand why people buy and what influences their decisions, as this can help us to sell products and services to customers based on their reason for buying.

The 3 Reasons Why People Buy

There are 3 reasons why people buy:

  1. They have a need
  2. They have a want
  3. They have a dominant buying motive

Purchases Driven by Need

The first reason why people buy is need. These are the purchases that we make that there is no getting away from. To the point where we tend to protect a part of our salary to cover these purchases.

For example, if you own a car, you need insurance. If you own a home, you need utilities and furnishings. We need food, clothing and other essentials to survive, stay healthy and do the things we need to do.

Decisions about buying the things we need are mainly driven by cost. For example, when we look for insurance, a high percentage of us head to a price comparison website to look for the best deal. If the price at the top of the list looks good, it tends to be the one we go for.

Now, you may think that the same can't be said about food and clothing. We may spend a bit more because we think we are getting a higher quality product. But, this isn't the case. This isn't a purchase driven by need. This is a purchase driven by want.

The need is satisfied by food and clothing generally, not the quality of the product you are buying. It may (in your view) not taste as good as another product, but it's still food. It still satisfies the basic need that we have.

Purchases Driven by Want

The second reason why people buy is want. These are the purchase that we spend our excess cash on. The things that we desire or think will improve the quality of our life.

For example, we don't need a TV. We don't need fluffy cushions, comfy chairs, huge beds or an excess of clothes. We want these things because we like them. We want these things because we think that our lives and levels of comfort and increased by having them.

We are typically influenced by marketing to buy these things. Flashy TV ads or ads on social media that we have clicked on suck us into their messaging where we end up in the mindset that this will definitely make my life better.

Purchases driven by want are mostly made by feeling or emotion.

But it isn't just things that we've been influenced to buy. As you say in the previous section of need, we can be influenced to buy a higher ticket item for something that satisfies a need.

For example, I need a suit for work...I'll go to Primark. But, I want wool blend so I had better go to Next.

Purchases Driven by Dominant Buying Motive

The third reason why people buy is known as dominant buying motive. This type of purchase is fully driven by influence and emotion.

The power of the crowd comes to mind here. If a neighbour buys a new car, just watch how many other people end up with new cars shortly afterwards. Are you one of them?

We buy products endorsed by celebrities or because we have seen a celebrity wearing it. For example, when Kate Middleton emerged from the hospital with her new baby wearing a blue dress with yellow spots, every store that sold a similar dress quickly sold out. Not because people needed a dress, but because they were driven by a motivation to wear what a member of the royal family wears.

We become influenced by others and by brands.

For example, I need a suit for work...I'll go to Primark. But, I want wool blend so I had better go to Next. But, if I had an Armani suit, I'd feel amazing.

Using the 3 Reasons Why People Buy to Increase Sales

If you or your company sells a product or service that satisfies a need, then you don't want to be totally driven by cost. Battling it out in the marketplace solely on cost will lead to disaster. Yes, people need your product, but you need to make them want to buy it from you.

Make sure your customers understand your entire proposition. Are you that little bit more expensive because you have a fantastic track record of customer service and reviews to back it up? Sell this. Do you have lot's of experience and are able to show how this has helped other businesses? Sell this. Does your product or service offer something that your competitors doesn't? Sell this.

Make sure your potential customers know the entire package. Help them to see that buying from you is something that they need to do. Don't be negative about your competitors. Just focus on what you can do for them.

Give them the motivation to buy. Show how they will save money, increase health, save time and energy. Show them where the value is. Show how you have helped other people and think carefully about your messaging.

For example, a utility company generated a lot of new business by simply changing some language in a leaflet that they pushed through peoples letterbox. Rather than stating they could save you £XXX on your utility bills, they instead said that our customers in your street have saved £XXX. In other words, people on your street use our services (maybe you should too).

Whatever you sell, you can paint a picture of the future for people and help them to see what they will get when buying from you.

The 4th Reason

Another reason why people buy that is coming more to light these days is ease (or effort). If it's easy to buy, I'll buy it. even if it does cost more. Just take a look at how easy Amazon makes it for people to buy.

How easy do you make it for customers to buy from you?

Sales Training Courses

You can learn more about sales and selling by attending one of our sales skills training courses. We have a one day Sales Skills Training Course and a Consultative Selling Training Course.

Best of luck with your sales.


David Lumley04-10-2021

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