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Why do people buy?

In his book, "The Little Red Book of Selling" Jeffrey Gitomer wrote;

"Why do people buy?" is a thousand times more important than "How do I sell?"
Why do you think people buy or why do you think your customers bought? - by Houston
My customers buy what I sell because they believe my products will benefit them in ways other products won't benefit them. They are looking for a solution for something important to them.

MitchM - by MitchM
Houston, this is an excellent topic. Here's my two cents:

People buy for one over-arching reason and one reason alone: to feel good.

This is true for all personality types, from highly emotional impulse buyers on one hand to a most analytical bottom-line types on the other. A highly emotional impulse buyer may feel good because she found a pair of shoes that is the perfect color to go with her new outfit, while a low-key and analytical purchasing rep may feel good because he negotiated a vendor's price downward by 8%.

The pursuit of good feelings is what makes people buy. However, it's also what makes people not buy. If you and your product/service make the prospect feel better than it feels for her to not buy (and better than all other options and sources), an order is imminent!

The real issue for salespeople is this: we have to find out what "feeling good" looks like to our prospects, and then position our product/service accordingly.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
People make buying decisions for a number of reasons but they generally distill down to 2 fundamental topics:
1. they need (I buy my medications because without them, I have a couple of serious issues on the horizon); OR,
2. they want (my wife and LCD televisions ... say no more);

In business, there are decisions made upon personal foibles (eg. ego). The decision to acquire is based on a need but the vendor selection is sometimes swayed by ego.

The logo-conscious consumer probably falls into this category (although they swear that the quality is better with a brand name). Billions are spent annually on brand awareness to cater to this topic.

There are numerous instances where this has gotten off-the-rails. One famous situation happened when a vacuum cleaner company (in Britain) offered return flights to N.A. with the purchase of their product. Guess what: the tickets cost more than the vacuum cleaner!

Hope this helps ...

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
I agree with Skip.

Buying is an emotional decision.

Localman - by localman
People buy for one over-arching reason and one reason alone: to feel good.
I couldn't agree more.

Dale King - by Dale King
One emotion simply does not cover the spectrum especially when you consider B2B.

For example, my $127K sale had nothing to do with "feeling good". There was FAR too much politics, "legal input", and remote influencing to bring the complex dynamics down to anyone "feeling good".

When the ed'n SR on the team sold 900 laptops per year for 3 years to a university in Ontario, it had nothing to do with "emotion". Rather, it was a business decision which came about after almost 18 months of diligence (ed'n SR + supplier + university stakeholder/decision-maker, etc.).

When J.D. closed his largest account (now) as the prime supplier (mid-'06), it was strictly business. In fact, it was totally void of "emotion". We had to beat out the competition on every topic before getting to the table!

If you're going to be successful in sales in the long term, you need to broaden your scope to more realistically represent what's going on out there!

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
One emotion simply does not cover the spectrum especially when you consider B2B.

For example, my $127K sale had nothing to do with "feeling good". There was FAR too much politics, "legal input", and remote influencing to bring the complex dynamics down to anyone "feeling good".

When the ed'n SR on the team sold 900 laptops per year for 3 years to a university in Ontario, it had nothing to do with "emotion". Rather, it was a business decision which came about after almost 18 months of diligence (ed'n SR + supplier + university stakeholder/decision-maker, etc.).

When J.D. closed his largest account (now) as the prime supplier (mid-'06), it was strictly business. In fact, it was totally void of "emotion". We had to beat out the competition on every topic before getting to the table!

If you're going to be successful in sales in the long term, you need to broaden your scope to more realistically represent what's going on out there!

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat
I would propose that the decision maker in your scenario, Pat, had to feel good first and foremost, or the sale wouldn't have proceeded. I think if you step back and would analyze that scenario further, there was some "feeling good" going on. In addition, there was some "feeling good" about doing business with you, or they would have selected another vendor.

Also, to clarify, I stated that there is one over-arching reason that all buying decisions take place, and that is to feel good. (I call this the "super-macro" need).

However, if one drills down further, one will find eight reasons customers buy, which I call "macro needs" (to ease pain, a quest for quality, to be generous, etc, etc.).

Then there are the micro needs, which are the specific needs (June delivery required, has to be 62" high, needs to accomodate 125 user, or whatever. These are specific to the situation and to the prospect.

I still contend that the over-arching motivation to buy is always to feel good, I I believe this is true whether the customer is a business or a consumer. - by Skip Anderson
Now that you're expanding the emotions, I'm not sure that we're saying something different.

In any event, I'm not in the camp where you can bring the motivation-to-buy down to a single emotion.

My $127K sale did NOT make one person feel good. I had stakeholders + legal counsel + user group + purchasing ... then it went to H.O. in the Netherlands! Please do not attempt to diminish this hugely complex cycle. The example was provided to illustrate my point. I'd like to ensure that the newbies see that the complex dynamics in-play which need to be addressed by the SR. It would be inappropriate to portray ALL sales decisions as being motivated by a single emotion.

The other examples were to portray the fact that, in those instances, NO emotions were involved: They were STRICTLY business-related. They had nothing to do with making a decision-maker "feel good". In the case of the sale into the ed'n market, they had a set of criteria, we presented our offering effectively and won the business. Again ... no one "felt good" (we simply met some fairly complex criteria).

J.D.'s account was almost "clinical" in their vendor analysis, so, it was not a function of "feeling good" in the end.

I really didn't provide the examples to be twisted or further analysed. Rather, I felt the need to more properly position "motivators to buy" in complex sales so that rookies don't squander their time with prospects.

My original input was that (in business) "People make buying decisions for a number of reasons but they generally distill down to 2 fundamental topics:
1. they need; OR,
2. they want;"

It is FAR too simplistic to say that all buying decisions happen because some has been made to "feel good" ...

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Now that you're expanding the emotions, I'm not sure that we're saying something different.

In any event, I'm not in the camp where you can bring the motivation-to-buy down to a single emotion.
My $127K sale did NOT make one person feel good.

I had stakeholders + legal counsel + user group + purchasing ... then it went to H.O. in the Netherlands! Please do not attempt to diminish this hugely complex cycle. The example was provided to illustrate my point.
I'm not meaning to diminish the complexity of the particular sale you refer to, or of any sale. Yes, some transactions are very complex.

But I wasn't discussing the complexity of a transaction, I was discussing buying motivations of customers. Those are two separate issues, in my opinion.

The decision-maker (or, in your scenario, multiple decision-makers) had to feel good or they wouldn't have spent the money on whatever the product or service was in your transaction. That's my opinion, and I understand and accept that you don't agree with me, but I think it's a worthwhile discussion.

I'd like to ensure that the newbies see that the complex dynamics in-play which need to be addressed by the SR. It would be inappropriate to portray ALL sales decisions as being motivated by a single emotion.
Pat, I can assure you that I don't want to mislead newbies in any way. But let me pose this question to you:

Since you don't agree that feeling good is the overarching factor in a buying decision, what possibly would be the over-arching determinant be?

The other examples were to portray the fact that, in those instances, NO emotions were involved: They were STRICTLY business-related. They had nothing to do with making a decision-maker "feel good". In the case of the sale into the ed'n market, they had a set of criteria, we presented our offering effectively and won the business. Again ... no one "felt good" (we simply met some fairly complex criteria).

J.D.'s account was almost "clinical" in their vendor analysis, so, it was not a function of "feeling good" in the end.
Purchases by "strictly-business" analytical, non-emotional, bottom-line individuals are made all the time on the basis of feeling good. Being "strictly-business" doesn't mean one doesn't feel good! They are not opposites! Every purchaser wants to feel good. Feeling good will most certainly look differently to one customer than it will to another, but it is still "feeling good."

Pleasing a board feels good. Pleasing your superior feels good. Getting a good deal feels good. Stroking your ego feels good. Solving a problem feels good. Ending a profit leak feels good. Cutting costs feels good. Even the most analytical of purchasers buys to feel good, or they simply wouldn't do it.


It is FAR too simplistic to say that all buying decisions happen because some has been made to "feel good" ...
I didn't say that. That is a misquote. I didn't say anything about making someone feel good! I don't even know if it's possible to "make someone feel good."

But I do believe that "feeling good" is the over-arching motivation of customers to spend money with you or me or anybody.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
This emotion doesn't come into play, Skip. It is a simplistic notion to a rookie that "feeling good" enters into every business-related decision.

I'm saying that after 30 years of selling B2B, I have never sought to make anyone feel good in order to influence a decision to buy, rather, I've sought to:
>> understand their business needs;
>> identify where my company/offering can assist;

Where there has been a confluence of the above two dynamics, I've typically been successful.

The motivators to buy in B2B typically relate to "needs" vs "wants" never to "feeling good". I would really be concerned if a rookie were asking a decision-maker, "what would it take to make you feel good?" Where, I've been asked such a question, I've responded with, "...you paying-off my mortgage...". Then, after the flabbergasted response, I'd say, "well, you asked what it would take to make ME feel good!".

The situations (such as those provided) are frequently far to complex to contemplate the offering appealing based on someone feeling good. The example of my $127K sale related to a serious oversight by legal counsel in an M&A situation (legal assumed that the software licenses were "acquired" along with the assets). Marketing assumed that the business plan (for which the licenses were intended) required NO more funding. Without realizing that incremental funding would be req'd, throughout, the user group were pitching suspects hard on the "load testing" application (video-on-demand in Asia). In such a complex set of dynamics, no one entity could be made to feel good. We quite simply had to find a way to make the situation work ...

Your question doesn't apply in B2B because you're trying to bring it down to a single motivator.

Skip, I'm not trying to win-you-over to my camp but you really need to step back on the concept of "single-emotion-motivators-to-buy" applying broadly in the B2B arena.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
This emotion doesn't come into play, Skip. It is a simplistic notion to a rookie that "feeling good" enters into every business-related decision.

I'm saying that after 30 years of selling B2B, I have never sought to make anyone feel good in order to influence a decision to buy, rather, I've sought to:
>> understand their business needs;
>> identify where my company/offering can assist;

Where there has been a confluence of the above two dynamics, I've typically been successful.

The motivators to buy in B2B typically relate to "needs" vs "wants" never to "feeling good". I would really be concerned if a rookie were asking a decision-maker, "what would it take to make you feel good?" Where, I've been asked such a question, I've responded with, "...you paying-off my mortgage...". Then, after the flabbergasted response, I'd say, "well, you asked what it would take to make ME feel good!".

The situations (such as those provided) are frequently far to complex to contemplate the offering appealing based on someone feeling good. The example of my $127K sale related to a serious oversight by legal counsel in an M&A situation (legal assumed that the software licenses were "acquired" along with the assets). Marketing assumed that the business plan (for which the licenses were intended) required NO more funding. Without realizing that incremental funding would be req'd, throughout, the user group were pitching suspects hard on the "load testing" application (video-on-demand in Asia). In such a complex set of dynamics, no one entity could be made to feel good. We quite simply had to find a way to make the situation work ...

Your question doesn't apply in B2B because you're trying to bring it down to a single motivator.

Skip, I'm not trying to win-you-over to my camp but you really need to step back on the concept of "single-emotion-motivators-to-buy" applying broadly in the B2B arena.

Good luck & Good selling!
I'm afraid you've missed my point to a large degree. You seem to want to make it sound like I'm suggesting that we, as salespeople focus on "making" someone feel good, which is not at all what I've said. But so be it. - by Skip Anderson
Skip, now I'm really confused. You've stated throughout:
>> "People buy for one over-arching reason and one reason alone: to feel good."
>> "The real issue for salespeople is this: we have to find out what "feeling good" looks like to our prospects, and then position our product/service accordingly."

Now you're saying that you didn't say that ... what am I missing?

Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Hmmm...maybe you're right, Pat. Perhaps saying that people buy to feel good is a bit too simplistic. Let's expand the reasoning a bit. People buy to feel fulfilled. People buy because they have needs they want to fulfill...such as pain relief, enjoyment, better health, financial security, self-improvement, achieve success, alleviate hunger, save time, better sex, lose weight, etc. That being said, all of the aforementioned not withstanding, it still comes down to one overriding reason...people buy to feel good or feel better.

Dale King - by Dale King
Apparently my point is being missed entirely, Dale. What you're talking about relates to what motivates consumers to buy. It goes beyond simplistic, it simply does not apply broadly in B2B.

In business, the "correct" decision might well make some decision-makers feel "other-than-good". Decisions in business frequently go against the grain for some people. For example, the best decision might be something which isn't ecologically friendly and the decision to go-ahead, therefore, might be personally difficult for the individual.

A decision-maker might have a personal preference to go with his brother-in-law (for example) but he realizes that this goes against company policy. In this case, the right decision is awkward for the individual.

It is also fair to say, that, frequently in business decisions are made which have nothing to do with the individual making the decision. So, equating the decision to something emotional for that individual simply doesn't make sense.

To meet the criteria to go-ahead, in business, there is seldom an element of the decision-making process which "makes them feel good". The experienced SSR's out there recognize that they need to identify all of the business dynamics surrounding the impending decision, rather, than seeking some philosophical set of emotional motivators.

I would be most uncomfortable if our newbies were spending valuable time in front of B2B prospects probing about some personal foibles which may or may not come into play in the ultimate decison.

It would be best for the rookies out there if this gets acknowledged.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Apparently my point is being missed entirely, Dale. What you're talking about relates to what motivates consumers to buy. It goes beyond simplistic, it simply does not apply broadly in B2B.

In business, the "correct" decision might well make some decision-makers feel "other-than-good". Decisions in business frequently go against the grain for some people. For example, the best decision might be something which isn't ecologically friendly and the decision to go-ahead, therefore, might be personally difficult for the individual.
Pat, you make a very valid argument and you're absolutely correct. The "feel good" emotion does not apply broadly in B2B. There are often underlying, complicated and various emotional factors involved in the decision making and buying process. I stand corrected.

Dale King - by Dale King
Apparently my point is being missed entirely, Dale. What you're talking about relates to what motivates consumers to buy. It goes beyond simplistic, it simply does not apply broadly in B2B.

In business, the "correct" decision might well make some decision-makers feel "other-than-good". Decisions in business frequently go against the grain for some people. For example, the best decision might be something which isn't ecologically friendly and the decision to go-ahead, therefore, might be personally difficult for the individual.

A decision-maker might have a personal preference to go with his brother-in-law (for example) but he realizes that this goes against company policy. In this case, the right decision is awkward for the individual.

It is also fair to say, that, frequently in business decisions are made which have nothing to do with the individual making the decision. So, equating the decision to something emotional for that individual simply doesn't make sense.

To meet the criteria to go-ahead, in business, there is seldom an element of the decision-making process which "makes them feel good". The experienced SSR's out there recognize that they need to identify all of the business dynamics surrounding the impending decision, rather, than seeking some philosophical set of emotional motivators.

I would be most uncomfortable if our newbies were spending valuable time in front of B2B prospects probing about some personal foibles which may or may not come into play in the ultimate decison.

It would be best for the rookies out there if this gets acknowledged.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat
1. Decisions can be difficult in B2B, as well as B2C. But the overarching need is to feel good. There are lots of other levels of need lower on the totem pole than that overarching need. The reason the person doesn't purchase from his brother-in-law, to speak to your scenario, is because he wants to avoid pain - the pain of her boss finding out that she purchased from her relative. And easing pain feels good.

2. To make a broad brush statement that emotions do not play a role in b2b sales is astounding to me. And it is incorrect. Feeling good is a universal emotion that all people seek, whether shy or extroverted or corporate or consumer or old or young or analytical or flaky or whatever. Corporations are made up of individual human beings, all of whom have a role to play in the larger organization, but all who are also people, not machines. Companies choose product "B" over "A" all the time, even though product "A" made more sense to someone who analyzed the situation. Sometimes "feeling good" is in line with stereotypical corporate interests like saving money, but sometimes it isn't. Every corporation wants to save money, but companies make buying decisions every day that are contrary to "saving money" and other non-emotional goals.

3. I want younger and inexperienced salespeople here at Salespractice to know that, although you must examine and understand lower levels of need (the macro need and the micro need) for every prospect, you cannot forget that, overarching all of those needs, is the overarching need to feel good. Many salespeople ignore this, and then they wonder why the customer bought from their competitor instead of them. The super-macro need of feeling good always comes into play in a buying decision. Sometimes it's veiled as logic or analysis or whatever, but feeling good is always up there, like an umbrella hanging over the entire sales interaction.

-Relieving pain feels good.
-Following company policy so you don't get in trouble feels good.
-Having the president of your division say "good decision" feels good.
-Investing a little extra to get the right product feels good.
-Buying from the rep you like feels good.
-Buying from the rep you don't like feels good if there's another way you can feel good about the purchase.
-and on and on

4. "Feeling good" applies to a single decision maker or a more complex scenario that involves multiple decision-makers or many levels of sign-off.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
Skip, I have sold into B2B since the age of 19 and I am now 57. In other words, I have 38 years of experience selling into this arena exclusively. I am NOT wrong when I express opinions and then substantiate these statements with true experiences.

I have NOT said that emotions don't play a role in ALL decisions in B2B and, since you're using the quotation route, allow me the following quotes of me from your thread:
1. "It goes beyond simplistic, it simply does not apply broadly in B2B." Skip, emphasis on the words "simply does not apply broadly" ... you're using my quote but you're being ultra selective in which bits of the sentence support your argument!
2. "Decisions in business frequently go against the grain for some people." Skip, notice the word "frequently" NOT "always" as you're implying!
3. "It is also fair to say, that, frequently in business decisions are made ... So, equating the decision to something emotional for that individual simply doesn't make sense." Skip, once again, you've ignored the word "frequently"!
4. "To meet the criteria to go-ahead, in business, there is seldom an element of the decision-making process ..." Skip, you're ignored the key word "seldom" (ie. not "always")!

Here's a quote from Dale, "Pat, you make a very valid argument and you're absolutely correct. The "feel good" emotion does not apply broadly in B2B. There are often underlying, complicated and various emotional factors involved in the decision making and buying process. I stand corrected." Skip, please take note of the key word, "broadly"!

To your comments in point #2 of your thread ("Feeling good is a universal emotion that all people seek, whether shy or extroverted or corporate or consumer or old or young or analytical or flaky or whatever"): Upon how many years of personal experience in B2B sales are you basing this statement, Skip?

FACT: In the forum, I have NEVER made any statements about sales outside my area of experience. I have avoided this faux pas because such comments are without basis and would tend to niggle away at my professional/personal credibility.

FACT: Any rookie in a B2B patch that sets out to find emotional topics with the decision-maker is wasting valuable selling time.

It is entirely misleading, Skip, for you to second-guess what were the motivators to buy in sales in which I was personally involved. If you want to peel-back the layers of an onion in this fashion, I would guess that one day you'd find Jimmy Hoffa! But this sharp-shooter approach to dissecting my comments is, quite frankly, offensive to the max!

You're trying to boil the ocean here and there simply is NO upside for the rookies following the thread.

Please accept my 38 years of experience in B2B when I say:
1. sales are frequently complex with numerous dynamics which preclude any single person "feeling good" being the motivator to buy;
2. any decision-maker who follows company policy does NOT, upon reflection, say to themselves, "... now that avoided pain (therefore I feel good) ...", rather, he follows instinct;
3. the astute SR ensures that he absorbs all of the potential "politics" which might influecne the decision-making process;

I would have preferred that you accept the suggestion to step-back as you're beginning to make this somehow sound personal.

By way of apology to the others in this thread who are also finding Skip's refusal tiresome: I should be able to provide a valid rebuttal (especially one which I am able to substantiate with true experiences) without fear of someone taking aim at every syllable utilized in their response. To put this into perspective, on Friday when the atmosphere began to sound "defensive", I sent Skip a PM suggesting that the points were made. I expressed a concern that to continue was beating a dead horse. The email pointed out that we risk sending the rookies down the wrong path. I am not sure why my response to Dale initiated Skip's posture.

I think I've made my points.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
"If you're going to be successful in sales in the long term, you need to broaden your scope to more realistically represent what's going on out there!" -- Pat

Selling our products fits a common template - people want it or not and are willing to buy it. That's how I sell - there is an inquiry of looking for common ground in meeting mutual expectations, etc. BUT this isn't a thread on that - I gave my "Why Do People Buy" sentence at the beginning of this thread.

BUT as to your quote, Pat - although I work the same in "selling" our business opportunity as I do in selling our products, brodening my scope to more realistically represent what's going on out there AND understanding the dynamics of looking at our business from individual and historical perspectives - and more - has become extremely beneficial and useful.

Whereas some would "sell" a business opportunity like mine by "selling the dream - selling the hope - selling the freedom - selling the idea of wealth" I am inclined to sell it in a dispassionate and meeting-the-needs of the other person PROVIDED that person also meets my criteria, way.

I can only generalize that this is an effective and good way to sell and that people will buy for whatever reasons they will buy - as discussed here - more readily if they need, want, and are willing to pay for something when treated with respect, attention, and to their specific requirements.

I'm not a B2B guy so again, I can only generalize these principles from my experience - Pat makes a lot of sense to me.

MitchM - by MitchM
Pat, it's interesting that you call our dialogue a "tiresome diatribe," yet continue on to post a lengthy post supporting your point of view. You can't have it both ways: either it's tiresome, or it's worth discussing.

Which is it?

I've merely been supporting my first post in this thread, a post to which you disagreed. That's your right, of course, and we've been tossing it back and forth since then. In my opinion, our discussions are not personal as you accuse, but I'm sorry you feel that way. - by Skip Anderson
Two things come together, a need and an opportunity.

People need what you have, and you provide the opportunity. This is the basic mix. The sales cycle can be speed up by offering enticing stimuli.

Cost savings over the competition, free productů
- by Lance_Best
Skip, to your school yard comments, I never called the dialogue "a tiresome diatribe" ... it's your input which is off-putting.

Over a week ago, I sent you a PM suggesting that you and I should not "duke it out in front of the rookies". You've chosen a public vehicle to continue. I made my points ... you called me "wrong" ... I took offense because your background excludes B2B sales experience. Now you attempt to attangonize me in the forum.

If your unsubstantiated comments about B2B sales are left on-the-table, the forum risks losing the confidence of the participants.

I'd rather resign my position with the forum then have this continue. If you'd like to send me an email to close this without animosity, you know how to get in touch.

As before, I apologize to the participants for what is truly getting out of hand (I sent another PM today on the topic).

Good luck and Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Skip, to your school yard comments, I never called the dialogue "a tiresome diatribe" ... it's your input which is off-putting.

Over a week ago, I sent you a PM suggesting that you and I should not "duke it out in front of the rookies". You've chosen a public vehicle to continue. I made my points ... you called me "wrong" ... I took offense because your background excludes B2B sales experience. Now you attempt to attangonize me in the forum.

If your unsubstantiated comments about B2B sales are left on-the-table, the forum risks losing the confidence of the participants.

I'd rather resign my position with the forum then have this continue. If you'd like to send me an email to close this without animosity, you know how to get in touch.

As before, I apologize to the participants for what is truly getting out of hand (I sent another PM today on the topic).

Good luck and Good selling!
Pat
Look, Pat, we disagree, okay? You're trying to support your position and I'm trying to support mine.

I have b2b sales experience in my background, as well as being the owner of my current company which sells b2b. For you to assume otherwise isn't appropriate.

The title to your post was "Tiresome Diatribe." Yet you continued to post a lengthy post in support of your position. Wasn't your post possibly a "tiresome diatribe"? What is the benefit of that kind of name-calling when all of us here at SP are trying to further sales knowledge in the community?

I have no animosity toward you. I respect you and I like you. You didn't agree with my early post in this thread about the overarching need that all customers have. That's okay, but I'd like to be able to defend my position, just as I think you and others should be able to speak to your position. I welcome that. You think I'm wrong. I think you're wrong. You accuse me of "schoolyard comments", I accuse you of wanting peace on this topic, yet wanting the last word.

By participating here at SP, we've ALL chosen a public vehicle in discussing these issues. You sent a pm to me last week suggesting we cool it, but you did so just moments after you posted one more defense of your position. That's a little disingenuous, I think.

I think we can have a healthy debate without getting personal, and I believe and hope that my posts haven't been personal in nature, but have indeed spoken to my point-of-view. - by Skip Anderson
I forgot one thing in my last post: That will conclude my involvement in the discussion of this issue in this thread. Pat, (or others) you may have the last word. (I hope I remember I said that months from now!).

Skip - by Skip Anderson
Why do you think people buy or why do you think your customers bought?
My belief is that every behavior, at a core level, is an attempt to avoid pain or gain pleasure. sn; - by Liberty
People buy for one reason and one reason alone; they have a problem.

Problem- you're hungry Solution- you buy food

Problem- your car is a joke Solution- you buy another one

Problem- you hate the way you look in your clothes Solution- you buy a gym membership

People buy because they have a problem. Find the solution and sell the solution.

Simple and effective.


salespro - by salespro
My belief is that every behavior, at a core level, is an attempt to avoid pain or gain pleasure. sn;
How would you explain facial tics and forms of compusive behavour such as continous stirring of a drink, repeatly using .."like.." or "..you know.." in conversation, or stuttering, etc, etc,? - by Perez
People only make decisions for one reason:


To change the way they feel.

There is not one other reason that we make decisions. We dont change the way we sit on a coach except to change the way we feel.

Thats not my wisdome, I stole it of course;sm - by girlclozer
girlclozer, there is NO single motivator to buy. Anyone who portrays such broad sentiments is leaving the rookies out there with a misleading direction.

It might be accetable if you qualified the statement with, "in my experience" or "in B2C sales". But, even then, it would NOT apply in every instance.

It is my experience, that when a SR initiates the call with a pre-conceived notion (based on simplistic fundamentals), the call typically doesn't go well.

In B2B sales, the complexity of the sale frequently precludes any single person being motivated by emotion.

Interestingly, Salespro, people don't always make purchasing decisions based on having a problem. Again, to set out with the belief that "all I have to do is find their problem", will leave you seeking an alternate source of income. It's my personal experience that customers buy because they have needs vs problems.

For example, I sold a fairly large Xerox copier to FoodCorp because of a newspaper article which I'd read that morning detailing their profitability. We structured the sale around a lease with the intention of driving up productivity while hiding some profit from the taxman. If he'd had a problem ... it had nothing to do with what I'd sold him! If I'd been seeking problems, I'd still be at reception tyring to meet him.

It works MUCH better if you go into every call with a open mind (ie. not fixating on finding "problems"), probe to understand the business, listen, probe for needs, listen ...

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Ah but you just proved my point. Your client did make a decision to change the way he felt. Your client wanted the feeling that he gained by driving up productivity. The relief he felt from hiding some profit from the tax man.

Some things really can be that simplistic. If your client drives up productivity he then might look like a winner in front of his superiors or peers within his industry. Thats a DRIVING FORCE that makes people take action.

I stand by what I said as it is backed up by some of the great minds in the study of influence.

I worked with a man that once sold huge computers to major corporations. Once he broke past the limiting belief that his sales were all based on logic he doubled his income. - by girlclozer
girlclozer, this topic is beginning to hurt: in B2B there is NOT a single motivator to buy ... FULL STOP.

This sort of forum seems to entice people to uber-analyze that which you were not present to initimately understand. These client discussions weren't held with mid-level managers who fed their ego's with decision-making. Rather, the scenario which I presented was with the CEO of a multi-million dollar conglomerate. I take umbrage with your assumptions about what tipped the sale.

Please limit these broad statements with "in my experience", otherwise, I believe that you should present them as fictional or "what if" representations. If the theory is truly "...backed up by some of the great minds in the study of influence...", then, you should present the reference detail (so the grey hairs can check it out).

By the way, I have never implied that "logic" is (or isn't) a foundation for sales (I'm not sure where your analogy about logic initiated).

The forum is intended to assist rookies to round-out their selling skills. You cannot honestly believe that a rookie in B2B will survive by seeking out, "changes to how (buyers) feel"!

In my 30+ years of sales experience in B2B (for companies like 3M, Xerox, Apple Computer, etc.), I have never:
1. probed for feelings while meeting with decision-makers; or,
2. presented to the 'C' level anything which related to their feelings or anyone else in the corporation; or,
3. positioned solutions in a fashion which swayed an individual's feelings; or,
4. attended/delivered any sales training course which suggested that such effort would yield improved sales productivity;

Please be a little more careful with how your personal experience is presented to the forum. It really isn't appropriate to imply that these sentiments are "cast in stone" for the selling community.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Many people post theory on forums as if they are true to their experiences and common to others - but they're nothing but theories to the person posting. Likewise, people want to reduce complexity or variety to simple cliches and phrases often to say something that sounds to them to be true of something in the metaphor. You know these things, Pat.

I once attempted to debate and discuss intelligently a woman who had reduced everything in this particular context to a phrase or two and she would often switch usage of the phrase contrary to how she previously used it to: 1. prove herself right again and 2. prove her debator wrong again.

Smugly she's smile off convinced she'd won something of value or importance AND had reprecented truth. This thread beings these things to mind.

We know people come to believe a simple reason for doing this or that or not doing this or that can be reduced to a universal impulse or biological response. We also know people come to believe they have the power to imagine and attract this or that to themselves through: arranging thought, meditating on icons or sound vibrations, walking in a certain way, turning objects in their home to face specific directions.

Then there's the belief that one can literally remove - at will - the beliefs and opininons from someone else and through powerful thought, manipulative words, and appropriate actions implant new beliefs and opinions in others. OR, through the same mechanisms get that person to uncover hidden impulses, beliefs, and opinions which control thought and action.

And there's reflections of truth to all of that - not the whole truth or even much of a partial truth, but enough of a reflection to convince one that it's more than it can be whichh is the problem.

What appears as expansive and wise and concrete is nothing more than the glistening of the sun on a bubble of soap drifting up into the air in an orb of beautiful transparent liquid color then the bubble bursts and is gone.

Meanwhile the sellers of bubble soap are making their little containers and profits because the children keep coming. AND mom and dad want to feel good beause the little ones feel good blowing bubbles.

Maybe we're all just blowing bubbles.

MitchM - by MitchM
girlclozer, this topic is beginning to hurt: in B2B there is NOT a single motivator to buy ... FULL STOP.

This sort of forum seems to entice people to uber-analyze that which you were not present to initimately understand. These client discussions weren't held with mid-level managers who fed their ego's with decision-making. Rather, the scenario which I presented was with the CEO of a multi-million dollar conglomerate. I take umbrage with your assumptions about what tipped the sale.

Please limit these broad statements with "in my experience", otherwise, I believe that you should present them as fictional or "what if" representations. If the theory is truly "...backed up by some of the great minds in the study of influence...", then, you should present the reference detail (so the grey hairs can check it out).

By the way, I have never implied that "logic" is (or isn't) a foundation for sales (I'm not sure where your analogy about logic initiated).

The forum is intended to assist rookies to round-out their selling skills. You cannot honestly believe that a rookie in B2B will survive by seeking out, "changes to how (buyers) feel"!......
OUTsource sales, I agree wholeheartedly with you that in B2B there is no single motivator to buy, and I share your frustration on the topic's debate.

But, Sir, with all respect I want to comment on some things you said, and I hope you are not offended. I am referring to your words as shown:

"This sort of forum seems to entice people to uber-analyze that which you were not present to initimately understand."

And this:

"The forum is intended to assist rookies to round-out their selling skills."

Sir, I'm not sure that you, yourself were "present to intimately understand" the intention of this forum. If you think I have taken license by merging the context of those two excerpts, I apologize.
The impression that certain experienced sales people here have some sort of covenant to guide the careers of "rookies" here seems to be surfacing much more than the participation of "rookies" responding to the posts. More common is "experts" talking at one another. Perhaps the rookies learn in silence, for we have no way of knowing. And perhaps not. And then, too, perhaps the rookies will make their own choices on who they want to learn from.

In my opinion, the forum is open to those that would express their differing viewpoints, so long as things don't get personal, and do remain civil.

I disagree with girlclozers views expressed here as much as you do. But I respect and honor her right to express them. - by Perez
Nicely stated Perez (seriously). I want to ensure that I offer an apology to those who might think that I was "shutting down" anyone's effort to communicate on the forum.

It certainly was not my intent.

To make a point in the thread, I had offered-up an expample in which I was personally involved. I was, then, airing some displeasure at the rigid stance taken (that a single emotion was at the base of a decision). The subsequent suggestions would have seen the comments softened by positioning the comments as being within their actual experience.

The forum is, potentially, a great vehicle for working through lost sales, seeking viable skills training, or expressing exhiliration over a big win. For those rookies who get involved, it can be a great motivator. In order for the forum to be successful, though, it requires broad participation.

I would be horrified to think that sharing my experiences (in any thread) were received in a manner other than intended. I would hope that, rather than intimidate, my experiences have been portrayed with the best intentions of the forum. In fact, I invite anyone to private message me (or any grey hair) if Perez' point has been missed.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
You implied some good questions in the post Perez replied to, Pat, and are right in expecting anyone who posts anything to be specific about what they are saying. Girlclozer did say about one post that read like personal experience that it was actually a hypothetical (theory) reply.

I don't have a clue what the intentions of this forum are other than sales discussion, and I've come to see how this and that person has been set up to be a qualified "expert" of some kind about this or that. Nevertheless, I've found these kinds of forums to be fairly open to conjecture regarding authority, value, and who is the expert.

All I can do is read the profiles and posts and decide - I know the Internet is loaded with experts selling their wares and services.

My perspective has always been to offer my remarks and take it all in with a few grains of salt, as the expression goes. When you get beyond or ignore public postures and personas you begin to see these places for their worth.

The best to everyone.

MitchM - by MitchM
Perez makes some good points about the intention of this forum: "More common is "experts" talking at one another. Perhaps the rookies learn in silence, for we have no way of knowing. ... perhaps the rookies will make their own choices on who they want to learn from."

Truly, there is NO shortage of experts on the web and this further drives home my suggestion that participants rationalize their comments with "in my experience". Otherwise, it will become a question of "who can shout louder" when it comes to contentious topics. It would also be helpful, if the comments included a sense for what market was portrayed (eg. B2C, B2B, etc.).

Similarly, when we're posting, if we choose to provide "proof-sources", we should always include reference details (so that the data can be reviewed).

So, Perez' point about "who the rookies want to learn from" is well taken. My rationale for joining the forum is to share what I've learned. If my posts/threads appeal, I'm ecstatic. If someone finds my approach a good fit, superb! If my comments stir some controversy ... that's not so bad. If I happen to offend, I'm available via PM to reconcile and offer either explanation or apology (which I'd happily include in a thread).

I am not selling anything which would appeal to this segment, so, there is NO ulterior motive. I have been asked by one SR to act as "coach" but I have not set out to find business within the forum.

The best approach is to join-into the threads but, sometimes that isn't optimal, so, I would strongly encourage anyone who wishes to PM me.

It seems to me that the grey hairs are more comfortable sharing experiences in order to make a point. This should be viewed by the rookies as a challenge to get involved.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Thanks Perez,
I never thought that the idea that people (Yes even CEO's) make decisions based on changing the way they feel would be such a controversial thought.

I know many people who have have knowingly made awful decsions because it was easier or other CEO types would look at them differently. I didnt think this was such a new thought.

What bothers me is this:
I was telling some people about this forum and was excited about it. As I returned back from a business trip. (Thankfully one with a great ending) I was disappointed to see these remarks.

In my opinion the egos here are a little out of line. I am not a rookie and I dont think that this forum is designed for some people to preach to anyone.

I would think that anytime someone post a reply on here they are in turn saying that this is what they believe to be effective. Do we really need to post every single reference?

If I want proven, expert advice then I am going to get it from a source that I KNOW to be credible. I have personally spent a great deal of money with known experts. Some of the courses I have taken helped me tremendously, others were not so great. In all cases though they were KNOWN experts with proven track records.

This forum (correct me if I am wrong) is not that. I am sure that many on here are talented people. None of us though know for sure who is typing to us.

When I read a forum like this I naturally assume that these are opinions. I have read some that are great and some that I personally think are not. Isnt that what this is for? People state thier reasons why something works and other state why they think that thier systems work. Isnt that enough? If you dont like the post then why get so worked up over it? Simply state your opinion then move on.

I would also like to throw this idea out for consumption:
There are a lot of right ways to get an outcome. You might not believe my way. I might not prefer yours. In the end we both get things done. There doesnt have to be one all knowing way!

Lastly, I must say that the implications here seem to be (If I am wrong then I apologize) that I am some stupid woman that doesnt understand the big world of B2B. Little ol me could never understand what these big boys do when they talk to CEO's....
Other remarks would imply that somehow I am suggesting that some universal force can alter people in some way. I dont recall making any statements to that effect and find them a unnessesary.

Thats crazy! I could easily go on here about what I have done and who I work for and who I sell to. But why? That would just be scrutinzied as well. In the end its not about trying to impress people on here. I thought this was about reading peoples post and evaulating them for what they are. Take what works for you, if not try someone else's suggestions. (perhaps I was wrong about that)

I will continue to read on and if my post ruffle some feathers then I can move on. My intentions were to dive into what I thought was a forum of like minded people.

I only wish success to everyone.

Thanks again. - by girlclozer
girlclozer, please allow me to set the record straight on a few of your comments:
1. "the egos here are a little out of line": what absolves you of the same comment? After all, in my particular case, I have 30+ years of B2B sales experience on which to base my comments;
2. "I dont think that this forum is designed for some people to preach to anyone": no one is "preaching" ... you entered the forum of your own free will and made some comments which simply aren't substantiated by the experienced SRs out there ... if you choose to postulate, then, you really should position it as such;
3. "Simply state your opinion then move on.": many participants use the threads as basis for research (eg. to find certain training materials, to resolve situations which transpire throughout the day, to seek out "coaching", etc.), so when the posts lack credibility, the forum suffers ... opinions aren't the issue, rather, it's the way in which they're positioned;
4. "There doesnt have to be one all knowing way": no one has presented anything which suggests that there's only one approach (and it seems a little adolescent to suggest it);

Perhaps you touched on the thread which had been "beaten-upon" already (i.e. the concept of single motivators-to-buy being based on emotions). There are always more ways to get the order and hopefully I never implied otherwise.

My last word in this thread: in my B2B experience the emotions of single individuals hasn't played a meaningful role in the ultimate decision.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Everyone's got an ego and feelings - at least how we've come to define those things - that's some of the reason we post here, why girlclozer posts what she does being the first to admit that feelings drive decisions AND feelings are connected to the ego or personality feeling them. Me, perez, Pat - this is a trifling agrument anyway.

When posters post in generalizations making them appear as specific truths or experience - well, there's not much more to say about that. Likewise, when one is asked to provide specifics or details to support posts and doesn't, what more is to ask.

And when people forget what they've posted or deny them, change them, that ends conversation.

People buy things for a variety of reasons and how they feel and think, what the expect and the purpose of the decision is always more than either meets the eye or can be expressed in a simple cliche: because of a feeling.

MitchM - by MitchM
My customers buy what I sell because they believe my products will benefit them in ways other products won't benefit them. They are looking for a solution for something important to them.

MitchM
Hi Mitch,

It seems to me that the reason people buy is dependent upon the product.

If you sell a complex solution, I agree with you completely. - by Susan
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