You may think you know why your customers buy from you, but there’s a good chance they buy for reasons other than the reasons you think. Or they don’t buy for reasons that may escape you.

People seek a wide array of benefits when they’re in a buying mindset. If you are communicating any one of those benefits to the people who want them this very instant, you’ve virtually made the sale. People do not buy because marketing is clever, but because marketing strikes a responsive chord in the mind of the prospect, and its resonance makes that person want the advantages of what you are selling.

Your customers do not buy because they’re being marketed to or sold to. Instead, they buy because you help them realize the merits of owning what you offer.

Like most people, everyone looking to buy a benefit, not a feature. Everybody knows that. But the truth is that people don’t always buy benefits. They buy a whole lot more:

  • They buy promises you make. So make them with care.
  • They buy the promises they want personally fulfilled.
  • They buy your credibility or don’t buy if you lack it.
  • They buy solutions to their problems.
  • They buy you, your employees, your service department.
  • They buy wealth, safety, success, security, love and acceptance.
  • They buy your guarantee, reputation and good name.
  • They buy other people’s opinions of your business.
  • They buy expectations based upon your marketing.
  • They buy believable claims, not simply honest claims.
  • They buy hope for their own and their company’s future.
  • They buy brand names over strange names.
  • They buy the consistency they’ve seen you exhibit.
  • They buy the stature of the media in which you market.
  • They buy the professionalism of your marketing materials.
  • They buy value, which is not the same as price.
  • They buy selection and often the best of your selection.
  • They buy freedom from risk, granted by your warranty.
  • They buy acceptance by others of your goods or services.
  • They buy certainty.
  • They buy convenience in buying, paying and lots more.
  • They buy respect for their own ideas and personality.
  • They buy your identity as conveyed by your marketing.
  • They buy style — just the kind that fits their own style.
  • They buy neatness and assume that’s how you do business.
  • They buy easy access to information about you, offered by your website.
  • They buy honesty for one dishonest word means no sale.
  • They buy comfort, offerings that fit their comfort zone.
  • They buy success; your success can fit with theirs.
  • They buy good taste and know it from bad taste.
  • They buy instant gratification and don’t love to wait.
  • They buy the confidence you display in your own business.

It’s also important to know what customers do not buy: fancy adjectives, exaggerated claims, clever headlines, special effects, marketing that screams, marketing that even hints at amateurishness, the lowest price anything (though 14 percent do), unproved items, or gorgeous graphics that get in the way of the message.

They also do not buy humor that hides benefits, offerings heralded with unreadable type, poor grammar or misspelled words, salespeople who don’t listen, or things they don’t fully understand or trust.

The best marketing of all involves prospects and informs customers. It builds confidence and invites a purchase. Best and most unique of all — it gets through to people. That’s why knowing the truth about them will help you to stand apart from your competitors and shine in the minds of your prospects and customers.


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