Understanding the Secret of How People Buy (In Order to GROW Your Sales)

If you’re a business owner, I bet you’ve lost a sale to the ‘perfect’ customer for no apparent reason, causing you to feel confused, frustrated and even sad.  After all, this is the person you created your product (and your business) for!  How could they possibly pass it up?  And how is your business supposed to prosper when the ideal customer doesn’t buy your product?

It’s a scary feeling to lose a sale to the ‘perfect’ customer, but the good news is it probably has nothing to do with your product or service and everything to do with the customer experience you created, which is much easier to fix.

As business owners, we often make the mistake of assuming our customers buy our products or services for logical reasons.  After all, we understand our products and services, how they work, and the value they create, and certainly this is the way our customers think about them too, isn’t it?  Alas, no, it is not.

Here’s the secret to remember:  People buy emotionally and justify rationally.  And it’s actually a good thing.  It means that we’ve collectively fulfilled our base level needs and now we seek and buy things that provide meaning and value on a deeper, personal level.  We buy things that make us feel good.  While this isn’t true absolutely – we still have poverty and hunger in this country and across the globe – it does hold true as a consumer trend in the first world.

So now you know the secret, but how do you create the customer experience that resonates with your target audience on an emotional level so you never miss another sale to your ‘perfect’ customer?  Follow these 3 steps.

Step 1: Know your audience inside and out.  What are their dreams, fears, and the sources of stress in their lives?  What are their hot buttons?  What makes them tick?  The goal is to know them so well that you can communicate with them on the highest-value level.  Discern what really motivates them and how your product will benefit them on a deep level, layers below the surface-level problem or challenge that your product addresses at a glance.  This is not easy to do (which is why you have to narrow down your audience as specifically as possible) and every audience is different.  Invest the time and energy to really understand your audience.

Step 2: Understand how your audience thinks and feels about your product.  Imagine your favorite food.  Now ask yourself, is this my favorite food because it’s the healthiest food I eat?  Is it my favorite because it is the cheapest food I can buy?  Most likely, the answer to both of these questions is no.  But, is your favorite food fulfilling to you?  Do you value it?  Well, yes, of course!  The point is people buy their favorite food because they like it (an emotion) and find it fulfilling.  So think of your business product or service like your audience’s favorite food.  It might be the healthiest or cheapest option, but usually that’s not why people are going to buy it.  Instead focus on how your product is good and makes them happy.  Appeal to their emotions, not their rational brains.

Step 3:  Your audience’s attention is precious; make the most of it by connecting your product to the things they care about.  Buying your product should be a heroic act in pursuit of their dreams. It’s about getting past the obvious and delving into the larger consequences of purchasing your product or service.  Where will your customer be a week/month/year after buying your product?  What kind of person does buying this product make them?  How can this product help them live the life they’ve always dreamed of? These are the questions people really want answers to.

Your job is to reveal how your product creates value for your target audience on a deep and personal level.  Because that’s the thing most worth selling people – not a product or service, but the courage to live to their fullest potential and love their lives.

Most people don’t need more stuff, but what we do need is more meaning and fulfillment in our lives.  So don’t spend your precious-little time in front of your audience talking about the stuff your business makes.  Instead, communicate with them about their hope and dreams, and show them how your product can help them get there.

People buy emotionally and justify rationally.  As a business owner, you have a responsibility to fulfill both the emotional and rational needs of your customers.  (After all, you don’t want your customers to have buyer’s remorse.)  Chances are, you already have a great product or service.  Now go the one extra mile and create an awesome customer experience.  You’ll become a trusted advisor in the minds of your audience and convert them into customers and fans of your business that spread the word like wildfire in return.