Recently, blogger Stu McLaren wrote a post on his blog entitled “Why Do People Buy?” According to McLaren, there are seven reasons:
1. To save time. “The more time you can save someone, the more valuable your product or service becomes.
2. To save money. “People love a good deal. Show that your product or service will save them money, and people will buy.”
3. Simplicity. “What can you simplify for your market? What steps can you eliminate or combine?
4. Clarity. “Complexity creates opportunity (to buy elsewhere). Make things clear for people and you’ll stand out from the competition.”
5. Convenience. “What can you do to make things more convenient for your customers?”
6. Premium service. “Are you offering a premium solution above and beyond your “regular” offering? . If not, you could be missing out (and so could those potential customers).”
7. Positive feelings. “Feelings play a big role in why people buy and it’s important to think about these ahead of time so that you can be more intentional about creating them.”
This is a good list, but I don’t think it’s complete. Here are three more reasons why customers, especially B2B customers, buy from your company and not your competitor.
8. Quality. Good marketing, a great website and stellar customer service can only cover up a bad product for so long. The best companies—like Apple, for example—do number 1-7 well (okay, maybe not number 2, Apple!), but they also provide a quality product that does what they say it will do and is reliable. Quality isn’t a marketing issue, but the feedback that marketers can provide to management, designers, engineers and the production floor can all increase quality.
9. Trust. This is similar to McLaren’s “positive feelings,” but is more about a long-standing relationship than it is about feeling good about a particular purchase. Trust is built over time by being consistent, by delivering on time and by keeping your word. It’s built by going above and beyond for a client in a pinch. Trust is the accumulation of years of “positive feelings.”
10. Staying power. Companies often invest millions of dollars in a products, services or systems from a vendor. Staying power refers to the faith that that particular vendor will be around in six months or a year. Too many companies do a great job on numbers 1-9, but have no succession plan in place. When the owner of the company providing you with a new $10 million system has a heart attack, what happens? Does everything ride on the health and well-being of one person, or has the vendor diversified its roles and responsibilities so that no one person’s absence can bring the company down?
Understanding why people buy is a critical part of the sales process. When was the last time you gave some thought to this important topic?