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Why People buy Things

There are generally two reasons why customers buy things; they need or they want something. For example, consider employee time clock software, it’s something most employers need for tracking employees hours.  Then consider Apples’  iPhone, people are willing to wait in long lines and pay a premium to be first to get the device because they want it.  Generally needs are not nearly as sexy as our wants;  and Apple is very aware that these buyers are driven by the feeling of the purchase.

This article will focus on different reasons why people buy stuff; software, cars, cloths and bling.  Hopefully, some of these examples will help you to lure in potential customers and sell more.

The psychology behind the purchase

To better understand why people buy stuff, we first need to understand what motivates them. When I considering writing this article, I felt it was important to brush up on my sales skills too.  So I search google for “why people buy stuff” and found 100 Reason why people buy stuff – your roadmap to sales mastery, an article written by Michael Karp.  He did a nice job at explaining 100 reasons why people part with their hard-earned money.  Rather than creating another article on why people buy stuff, I decided instead to identify the top five reasons why people decide to buy stuff.

Why do business owners make purchases?

  1. Saving Time – Time is a limited commodity, therefore business owners tend to purchase products that will save them time.  Examples of this are faster lawn mowers, laser printers, accounting software and purchasing items online rather than driving to stores.
  2. Reduce Risk –  I know a lot of business owners who are always looking for ways to protect themselves and assets.  They do this by insurance, legal agreements, computer backup software, security systems and video surveillance.
  3. Business Advancement – Taking a business idea to the next level is always very appealing.  Business owners generally invest heavily both personally and in their business.  Business advancement can be accomplished thru self-improvement and better educating employees, more reliable equipment, better products or better-paying customers.
  4. Make Money – Businesses will often spend money to make money.  For example, a tooling shop will buy or lease the latest and greatest CNC machine to increase accuracy and productivity.
  5. To Feel Important – Many people purchase expensive clothes and cars to look and also feel important too.  You may have noticed when someone is dressed up, they carry themselves differently.  The feeling of one’s self can affect the way he/she is perceived by others.

Why do consumers buy stuff?

  1. Basic Needs – This is stuff that we need to survive.  For example, food, clothing, transportation, and shelter.
  2. To Feel Important – People buy clothes, phones, cars, large homes or just about anything to impress their peers.
  3. Comfort  – We all like to be comfortable.  People buy clothes, bedding and will spend just about anything to be comfortable.
  4. To have Fun – Fun is a great way to create memories.  People are generally willing to part with their hard earned money to have fun.  Consider the overpriced excursions when on vacation.
  5. For Convenience – Convenience is a major factor in decision making.  Consider the prices paid at a convenience store as compared to a grocery store.  Or the cost of valet parking at a nice restaurant.
  6. Out of Fear – Ok, I added one more item – but it’s an often overlooked reason why people buy stuff.  People buy allot out of fear.  A consumer is more likely to buy a product that is on sale because the fear of missing the deal.  Companies understand that people buy stuff because they are afraid to lose out on the deal of a lifetime.  Therefore you will always see sales, discounts, holiday sales, etc luring hungry customers make the sale.

Appealing to your ideal customer

Appealing to your customer should be fairly easy if you understand their spending habits.  Everyone is motivated by something.  The key is to determine what makes your product or service appealing to others.  If the consumer does not feel a connection, then they have no reason to buy.  Therefore you should write down any benefits or feelings that your product creates for the customer.  For example; according to Fortune Magazine, the average wedding cost in the united states is $35,000 dollars.  Now consider that same couple being asked to donate that same amount to charity.  Chances are it would never happen, the personal connection is missing.

Therefore, take special consideration when identifying reasons why a consumer would need your product and ensure there is an emotional connection attached.

Promoting your product and conducting business

Now you should have a pretty good idea on how to create appeal to your customer.  The next step is to decide how to reach your target customers.  Today there are more options than ever to let the world know about your priced product.  Below are various methods and platforms you can consider to get the word out there that you have something great.

  • Facebook – Let all you devoted friends and family members know what you have to offer.
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a professional network where like-minded people reside. Creating a post on LinkedIn may give you visibility that you otherwise would not have.
  • Chamber of Commerce – Joining your local chamber of commerce can give you immediate visibility.  Chamber members generally know a lot of people and if they like you, you can get immediate referrals.
  • Sell Online – Setting up an online business is now easier than ever.  Websites like BigCommerce make it a piece of cake to create a storefront, accept credit cards and sell to just about anyone.
  • Yellow Pages – Some companies still should exist in the yellow pages, although this is fading out quickly.  However, having your business registered with google places is much more important.
  • Google Places – Nowadays people are using their smartphones to locate food, stores, and services.  Not having your business registered with google places could be the largest mistake a business owner could make.
  • Magazines – Depending on your niche, having an ad in a magazine may be an option.
  • Company Website – Having your own website is also very important.  It allow potential customers to learn more about your product or service.  Also displaying customer reviews on your website is a great way to build trust.  Take OntheClock for example, they offer a service that allows employers to track employee work hours.  The Ontheclock.com website allows customers to submit customer reviews. I would recommend taking a look at what OntheClock customers are saying about their time clock reviews.

The above platforms are excellent ways to let the world know what you have to offer.  Also, an important last note, ensure what you offer directly benefits the consumer.  If your customer feels special, they will most likely tell others about you.

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