For many years, I have felt that the key to successful sales has to be understanding need. From the first days of telephone or face-to-face sales, we were always told to ask questions and find out what a customer needed. If you could identify and then increase this perception of need, you would find it easier to sell the solution. The key is understanding why people buy and then make it easier for them to do so. I sense that customers prefer to feel that we are buying rather than we are being sold to, so it’s about putting the buyer in the driving seat. I think we can fuel inject ‘need’ by adding certain drivers that also motivate people. In your questioning, it will now be about identifying these drivers, as well as the basic needs that they need to ‘tick off’ their list which will help you to close the sale.
When we launched PURE Digital we spent a lot of time trying to identify the needs and motives of exhibitors interested in growing the demand for digital print. Marcus and I have always tried to launch events that solve a problem as well as address needs. The 35 original exhibitors all agreed there was a ‘need’ to connect with the creative communities, but several who joined us 12 months ago in Amsterdam to discuss the concept of a new show, have since then decided not to exhibit in the first year probably ‘fearful of their corporate culture of making a mistake’. Which can always work against you.
However many more new companies, who have understood the concept have joined us which somewhat restored our faith in the print industry!
I was thinking about our exhibitor’s motivation for being ‘in or out’ on this new show, when I recently came across an interesting article about buying motives.
This article helped me to understand more about their buying motives by Simon Naudi.
But, it could be applied to any buying and selling environment.
He suggested that in today’s world four main drivers for buying – Profit, Prestige, Comfort and Fear.
1. Profit buyers – these people tend to buy if there is a financial advantage – their drivers are to save money, get a bargain price or good value. These people respond well to offers, early bird discounts, and value for money deals.
2. Prestige buyers – they are the ones that are driven by having the best, something special, exclusively for them. They are concerned with feeling special or unique. A unique design or product that is different.
3. Comfort buyers – Naudi uses the example of a comfortable pair of shoes, but I think this applies well to Restaurants. How many times to we return to the same restaurant because we feel comfortable – we know what we get? This applies to customer loyalty and we take use this to our advantage in selling. You could also suggest this is a little like FEAR. Not missing out.
4. Fear Buyers – This works well with Insurance sales – the fear is about NOT having the policy. This is all about the security or safety of having this in place for fear of something going wrong. A ‘Fear’ buyer would respond well to case studies, referrals or testimonials.
Asking the right questions would help to identify their particular thinking pattern. You might also want to understand who else is in the decision and what their drivers are.
In the above list, however, I think that we have missed another motive for buying, particular for a new product or idea. The Innovator buyer, – the ones who like to lead, who want to try new things, who take risks and think with their heart.
I think the companies who have joined us for the show 17-19th April are probably driven in part by Prestige – to be the first, but perhaps they may also like to be the Innovators, the early adopters, the leaders, the risk takers, who think outside the box….? And who will be ahead of the curve and in front of the pack !
"For the PURE Digital Founders who have been motivated to join us in Amsterdam in two weeks - thank you for your commitment and confidence"
"By the way, visitor registration for the show is beating all our previous launch show numbers. Whatever, reason you took the decision to join us it looks like your decision will have been a good one."
Image source : Will McInnes