To buy or not to buy, that is the question.
The Buyers Brain
Have you ever wondered what makes people buy? What causes, or stops you,
or anyone else, from reaching for your wallet or credit card when you see an
ad or product that grabs your interest?
In my past emails I have talked about some of the reasons you might buy on impulse,
but I want to delve into more of the Psychological detail that your mind
works through when your ‘Interest” in something is sparked.
The following could be one of a million scenarios.
You walk through a store and something catches your eye. It’s a clock that
reminds you of your sister, who you haven’t seen in over 6 years.
It seems like she lives on the other side of the universe.
You say to yourself “My sister had a clock just like this in her bedroom
when we were both growing up. For some reason it was very special to her,
and here is one just like it. Hers got knocked on the floor and was found in pieces.
This would make a great gift for her.”
***Not all positive emotional perceptions are
directed at yourself.***
“Well, let’s see how much it will cost.
$369 + tax. WOW! It seems a bit high,
but my sister would really like it.”
“I will remember this place, and come back
in a few days to get it. I get paid again
tomorrow so that will work out just fine.”
(Excuses not to buy)
“Oh my, I just noticed this is a closeout sale,
and this is the very last one that they have.”
(Sense of urgency)
“Well, no one will be buying it in the next couple
of days. Although, it is the last one, so it must
be somewhat popular.”
“Maybe I should get it now?”
“Ooohhhh, what should I do? I’m going to get it. My sister will love it.”
This is not a “Knock em’ dead, must have” example, but it deals with
an emotional struggle that many of us have when we buy.
The following is an example where it’s a “No questions asked” emotional buy.
“Oh, my god!” “Look at that”. “I’ve been searching for that necklace for 3 years,
and here it is. I’ve got to have it!”
Or the “Clueless” marketer
“Oh, wow”. “This says that I can use this software for 180 days for free.”
“Let’s see, what it does”
“This is crazy. This program will find customers for me, drive them to my
sales offers, show them my Youtube videos, create on-the-spot sales copy
as it interprets the reader’s mood, and it even collects the money.”
“How can I go wrong!”
“I’ve GOT to have this s#it” And that’s exactly what it is!
Well, I never was very good at making up stories, but that is one illustration
of why people buy, and why they are going to be very disappointed.
Nothing works like that – yet.
What happened in the first example with the clock, is that what makes this person buy
is that the enjoyment was not only personal, but it was also directed toward someone else.
In the example of the sister and the clock, what if the “Clock-liking” sister
was disliked? Do you think the outcome would have been the same?
Chances are the sister would have bought it just to take a hammer and smash it.
Your feelings as a buyer
Why do you do things for someone else for a “Just Because” reason?
Yes, you know it will make them feel good, but what else?
You also know that it will reflect favorably on you. Giving makes most of us
feel good – about what WE have done. We made someone happy. I’m not
suggesting that there is anything wrong with that, but the there is that element
of “Me” that creeps in, and is used in marketing. Think about the ads during
At an unconscious level, you may even be using this “Kind Gesture” as a
bribe for something, and not even realize it.
There is very little that we do that is not somehow directed back at ourselves.
Do you do nice things for someone that you don’t like? Only if you want something
from them, or don’t want them to think they are disliked.
The second example (180 day free software) is one that shows how good
a copywriter can be. This person is convinced about this product. I’m not.
In order to have established this strong of an emotion response, you must
already have a desire to do something, and also want very badly
to find something that will fulfill that desire.
Why people buy is not always the issue. What is more important is so ask
“With what feelings do people use to buy something”. This answer will
be different depending on the product in question.
As a marketer, it is essential to realize that most (if not all) people cannot
separate their brain from there heart (emotion) when they are looking
at something, and considering a purchase.
Secondly, you also must be willing to ignore logic. Why, because you want
that “Something” so much that even a grain of hope will do.
This is usually the trap into which the novice internet marketer falls.
The new marketer gets the website, sets up the blog and landing page,
finds or creates something to sell, and tries to drive traffic, but gets no
traction at all. This makes this “Newby” really want this all the more.
“I want”. “Nothing happens”.
“I now want it more”. “Still nothing happening”
“Now, I really want it”. “Nothing!”
“God, even an 8 year-old can do it – now I’m desperate”.
So you buy, buy, buy until your pockets are empty, or until you realize
that either everything is a scam, you never have all the pieces, or you
are running out of the money.
Of course, not everything is a scam, but you sometimes realize that there
is something missing in what you are doing, or how you are thinking.
One the other hand, you may blame the product, not realizing that there
is more learning involved, and that you are not putting in enough effort
and time to make things work.
The “Must Haves”
Your car gets totaled , you have to get another car. It’s expensive but
it’s a “Must Have”. This is a no choice buy, like a broken window that must be fixed, or
our heating unit goes down in the middle of zero degrees outside.
What about clothes? You are fortunate enough to have more clothing items just
sitting in our closet than you ever use. Yet, you see something you like, and you
buy (or order these days) your newest fashion statement.
The selling process is simple if you, the buyer, MUST have the item, like that totaled car.
Or, if you absolutely love what you see such as that “Fashion Statement”.
With rare exceptions, why people buy is not just black or white, but falls somewhere
in between. Therefore, understanding your readers (prospective buyers) wants,
needs, and desires becomes important.
Knowing the basic emotion stirring words that most people respond to is one of the
major keys to the selling process. Putting words together correctly can increase
your sales, or drastically lower them.
When you write your sales copy be sure to convey what you mean. It’s easy to make
writing mistakes that leaves the reader confused, wanting to club you over the head,
or has losses interest and leaves.
The bottom line is that your brain may tell you one thing, but your emotions just
might have something else to say about what you buy.
For buying insight, don’t just ask Why people buy, but rather “Why do I buy”?