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Sales Consulting and Training:

Making it Personal:

Three Reasons People Buy

Let’s face it… when it comes to making a decision on why to buy a product or service, we all have our different reasons as to what motivates us to buy. Each person, whether they are in a business situation or a personal situation, has their own reasons for buying what they buy. For example, let’s take a look at purchasing a car:

  • Buyer One has decided he wants to buy a new Ford F150 pick-up truck.  He spends a lot of time hauling lumber and equipment to a construction site and needs a powerful truck with plenty of storage capacity.
  • Buyer Two has had her eye on an Audi TT for months.  She loves the car’s sleek design and can’t wait to go out on the town with her boyfriend.  Every time she looks at the car, she pictures herself driving the car to an elegant event or to the hottest nightclub.
  • Buyer Three has his eye on a Honda Civic.  She’s gradually working her way through law school and needs every penny she can get.  By buying an economical car, she’ll be able to stretch her dollar and divert her funds towards other expenses.

These three buyers have chosen three types of cars for three completely different reasons.  Chances are that pointing out the economic benefits of a Civic wouldn’t matter to Buyer Two as she wouldn’t perceive the car as “prestigious” enough.  At the same time, Buyer Three could care less about the towing capacity of a Ford F150 because all she would imagine are the hideous gas bills she would get.

So, when we look at these three buyers, we can say that they are driven by one of three main buying categories or what we call PPI:

In one way or another, PPI comes into play with all types of buyers, particularly in the corporate world. Executive buyers are driven by PPI as are other buyers such as Technical Buyers, Financial Buyers and User Buyers. The ability to gather as much data as possible about a particular buyer’s reasons for buying will enable you to sell more effectively in the field.

Taking a closer look at the Executive Buyer, one needs to understand how PPI affects this person to realize what will cause them to choose your product or service over someone else’s.  Some of the areas of concern to an Executive Buyer would include:

  • How will this affect our bottom line?
  • What will this do to help us increase production over the next year?
  • How will this help me increase shareholder value?
  • What will the long-term effects of this be on our company’s ability to compete?
  • How will this help protect and increase our existing market share?

Ultimately, with the executive buyer, it boils down to money, long-term growth, vision and the effect on the financial strength of the company.  By targeting your statements to meet the Executive Buyer’s needs, you increase your chances of earning the business.

What are some statements that would “speak” to PPI for the Executive Buyer?

“By rolling out our supply chain management process, you would save 20% over the next five years in unnecessary expenses.”

“Our filtration process will enable you to improve your standing with regulatory agencies by reducing particle matter and would enhance your image in the community as a responsible corporate citizen.”

“Our team will enable you to automate this process ultimately reducing operating expenses by 10% while increasing output by 15%.”

Other buyer types are often motivated not by big picture/strategic concerns or long-term profitability but more by individual and compartmentalized needs.  This can take place within a department, a regional office or an entire division.  These people think closer to home and look for ways to cut costs, become more productive, increase margins and contribute to the company’s bottom line.  They tend to think more in terms of their functional needs rather than on a corporate scale. 

What are statements that would “speak” to PPI for these buyer types?

“By shifting to our database management tool, your employees will be able to focus on other tasks knowing that the software will alert them when certain thresholds have been exceeded.”

“The negotiated rates we have in place with our partners will enable you to save up to 25% on your travel costs, enabling you to stretch your department’s travel budget.”

“Our safety products are proven to decrease occupational accidents in half and will enable your team to not only stay healthy but stand out among other teams at the refinery.”

Ultimately, you are speaking your customer’s language by meeting their needs and the buying forces that shape their decisions. By understanding what is most important to your customer and appealing to Productivity, Profitability or Image, you increase your chances of success.

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