Beat The Competition By Selling To The Buyer’s Real Reason For Buying

On the surface these look like genuine reasons to buy; but they are no different than being invited to buy a shirt because “it will cover your nakedness”.  

Why do buyers really buy your product or service? Chew on that; we’ll come back to it.

In my classes, whenever I ask the question, “Why do you dress?” the typical response I get is a silent “Duh” followed by a vocalised and rhetoric, “To cover our nakedness?”, said in an incredulous tone. When I press the question, the braver souls admit, “To impress; to look smart; to attract; to feel good about ourselves, etc”

These are the real reasons why we dress, and yet, at first blush, we’d never admit this-we’d rather give the more politically correct, “to cover our nakedness.” Unfortunately this thinking carries itself over to selling.  Inexperienced sellers focus on what the product has or is, instead of what it can do for the buyer. Which is why, last week while training a team of crop scientists that sell biological (natural) solutions to pest control, to the question, “Why do buyers really buy your product or service?”, I got responses like “to rid the farm off pests; to make the bud bigger; to automate processes; to ensure compliance”. On the surface these look like genuine reasons to buy; but they are no different than being invited to buy a shirt because “it will cover your nakedness”.  Absurd? Of course, it is.  You see, the real reason why the farm owner is even listening to you is because he wants to fetch a premium price with a bigger bud; to reduce labour costs because of automated application; to ensure compliance because he wants to remain in business. Do you see the difference?

It gets more complex. A buyer would not admit the real reasons why they are buying the shirt because it sounds vain to say, “I want to impress; or, I want to attract the girls; or, I want to show off my biceps.” Equally, the buyer won’t admit the real reason why he wants your product. It becomes the seller’s job to wisely elicit this by spelling it out. To connect the next dot beyond the big bud (which the competitor can claim anyway), by saying, “and with a bigger bud you are bound to attract a higher price”; or “because you are compliant you can venture beyond your current UK market to Denmark, France and other markets in Europe which abide by this Compliance Agreement.”

But that’s obvious, you say; the buyer already knows this and stating it will make me look vain or even irritate him. I disagree. You could be enlightening him, and this alone will endear you to him. But even if it is obvious, phrased as suggested above won’t irritate; just as it won’t when the seller tells you, “The silk shirt complements your skin tone; or, the skirt accentuates your curves, or, hiyo kiatu ni yako (that shoe suits you).” If the real reason why you are buying is any of these you are happy to hear them affirmed. True?

So. Why do customers buy your product?

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