This article is the 1st article in the Sales Training 101 article series.
Photo Courtesy of Volpelino
“Create value and people will buy.” It makes sense. Right?
Unfortunately, I don’t understand jargon like “create value.”
Do people really buy because the product “created value?”
Personally, I never went to a store and thought to myself, “Wow, this product really creates value. I need to buy it.” Quite frankly, I don’t know why I buy anything.
In the past 12 months, I bought two iPhones (1st generation and 2nd generation) and two computers (Mac Pro and a Macbook Air).
I didn’t need the stuff, but I bought it.
So, what are the main reasons why people buy? What makes someone like me buy 2 iPhones and 2 computers in the past 12 months?
The answers are much more simple than you think and successful people need to know them.
Community is Why People Buy
Have you ever walked through the office and had someone say “nice shirt?” Well, I bet the person who said “nice shirt” was wearing a similar shirt.
Or, have you ever been riding your Harley Davidson down the street and someone else on another Harley waved to you? Of course. You’re both HOGs (Harley Owner Group).
People are social creatures and they love to be a part of something – a community, a lifestyle, a Seth Godin Tribe. It doesn’t matter what you call it as long as people feel they are a part of something bigger.
Tip: you should create a community around your product or vision.
Scarcity is Why People Buy
Just imagine if you wanted to attend a training conference that only allowed 100 people to attend, but you forgot to buy your ticket in advance.
Luckily, when you checked eBay you saw there is one, and only one, ticket for sale.
The conference, which allows 100, has one ticket available and it is on eBay. You would be constantly refreshing that eBay auction and bidding on that ticket until you won it.
Not only is it the last one, but you want to be one of those 100 people.
Now ask yourself, what if 95 tickets were available for sale on eBay? Would you still be as excited?
There is no reason for a 100 person limit for a conference that has 5 attendees. Since the aura of scarcity no longer exists, people may lose excitement.
Tip: you should create a sense of scarcity around your product or idea.
Recognition is Why People Buy
Do you know one of the main reasons why people complain about work?
They feel unappreciated.
They drudge through their projects and finish them before the deadline, but they almost never receive a pat on the back and a compliment like “good job.” Instead, they’re given the next project and a new deadline.
The same applies to why people buy.
People buy products because they’re looking for recognition. They want to be recognized wearing the hottest new clothes and carrying the most technologically advanced phone. They want people to notice them.
Tip: you should create a sense of recognition around your product and your idea. Just look at what Seth Godin did when he launched his new book, Tribes. He included a picture of each person who joined the Triiibes community on the inside of the cover jacket. People were ecstatic.
Prestige is Why People Buy
Why do people buy luxury items? Just why would someone spend $5,000 on a watch that tells the same time as a $30 watch?
The quality of time doesn’t change, the features are the same, and both watches run on batteries. Yet, there is a significant price difference.
The $5,000 watch carries an aura of prestige, whereas the $30 watch is just plain cheap.
However, prestige is not just about price.
You may remember how Steve Jobs lured Pepsi’s CEO, John Sculley, from Pepsi back in the day. Steve said, “Do you want to sell sugar water the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?”
Do I even need to ask you what you think sounds more prestigious?
Tip: you should create an aura of prestige around your product or idea. Just be aware, prestige does not come from price, it’s created by positioning.
Needs is Why People Buy
When I started working on the internet, I was working from home while sitting on a cheap and uncomfortable chair from Staples and using a small monitor, which strained my eyes.
After talking to Chris Pearson, he said something that completely changed the way I thought about my home office: “Derek, if you’re going to be working on the internet, you may as well do it with the right equipment.”
He was right.
He convinced me to buy a Herman Miller Aeron chair and a 30″ Apple Cinema display. He made me feel like I needed it to be successful.
Tip: you should create an idea or product that people need. Once people feel they need it, they will be your number one supporter. For example, have you seen Apple’s new Iphone Your Life campaign? They are relating the Apple Iphone to every aspect of life so people feel they need it.
The Bottom Line
While I can’t define “create value,” these five reasons why people buy, will help you craft your personal and business brand so that you tap into people’s desires.
What Do You Think?
Why do you think people buy? Please leave a comment.