How and Why People Buy
The Internet is a powerful selling tool. Never before has
it been easier to start a business, be able to reach out
to literally millions of potential customers and make your
The Internet also offers us new tools to succeed. Email
makes communications instant whether across the street
or across the globe. Websites act as virtual storefronts,
allowing us to stay open 24/7. Newsletters inform, educate
and even give us an occasional smile.
Yet time has taught us that there is much more to success
than simply having a web site or using these tools. Recent
experience has taught us that the fundamentals of selling
haven’t changed, even if the new selling tools are state
of the art.
While these new tools may change the function of buying,
they haven’t really changed HOW and WHY people buy. Here
are several factors that will help you approach people
in a way that will persuade them to buy from YOU.
1. People aren’t ON the Internet. They ARE the Internet.
The same rules that apply at any retail store
should apply to your online ‘store.’ Is your site courteous
and inviting? Does your site say in clear terms that you
know your stuff and that people will get smart answers?
Does your site offer to fulfill a clearly defined need or
desire? Give your site a checkup today.
2. People buy online just like they buy offline. If
they are buying an impulse item, they’ll click thru and
spend a buck. If it’s a bigger ticket item, they’ll
shop around. Which are you selling? Is the look of your
site appropriate to what you are selling? I don’t want
to buy designer chewing gum and I won’t buy at a site
that looks like it should be selling gum. Would you? I
want to buy the stuff I usually buy, but I don’t want
to leave home to do it. Are YOU meeting my need?
3. People buy what they need, when they need it and can
afford it. The key is to give people information that
connects with what they need. The good news is that
people need the same things they have always needed.
Which of us doesn’t long for more time, more money,
better relationships with family and friends? The more
your message is aligned with these needs, the better
you will do.
WHY People Make ‘Buying Decisions’
There are only SIX basic motivators that will trigger any
buying decision in the mind of a potential customer. All
six are actually deeply rooted in the human psyche, akin
to our most common needs and desires.
1. Desire for gain – usually financial, but also to gain
in love, power, respect from other people.
2. Fear of loss – usually financial, but also emotional.
This trigger may tie to the loss of something already
gained, or to the fear of not gaining something that
is perceived as a need.
3. Comfort and convenience – convince me that your
product or service will make my life easier, simpler,
more productive, more worthwhile.
4. Security – will your product or service protect me, my
loved ones, my assets, and reduce my fear of loss?
5. Prestige and pride of ownership – although it may not
be a psychologically healthy frame of mind, most
people do attach self-worth to the ownership of
exclusive material items (ie. Rolex watches, designer
clothing, limited editions of anything.) Will I be proud
to tell my friends that I own or use your product or
6. Satisfaction of emotion – will your product or service
make me ‘feel good’ about myself, my life, and the
world I live in?
The world is a big place and it doesn’t turn on a dime.
People will still buy cars just before vacation time and
do most of their Christmas shopping about 10 minutes
before midnight on Christmas Eve. Don’t buck the trend.
Understand and USE people’s existing buying habits
and motivations to your advantage, and kick your online
efforts into high gear.
To Your Success,
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