Why do people buy?

Arming yourself with facts and data will not help you convert prospects into customers. It’s far more important that prospects trust you and feel comfortable with you.

iwantiwantiwantPeople buy based on emotion and justify with fact.

I know, you probably don’t want to believe that. You are convinced you are a rational, cognitive human being who makes calm, considered, well thought-out decisions. But the simple truth: People rationalize buying decisions based on facts, but they make buying decisions based on feelings.

Our emotions trigger us to buy. Don’t make the mistake thinking that people buy what they need. People buy what they want. Needs are driven by logic while wants are driven by emotions.

The single biggest motivator in buying is not data, nor is it facts; it’s emotional response. Humans buy when they feel comfortable, when they feel they can trust you, when the process feels natural and reassuring, and when they come to believe that buying will make them feel good.

whybuyWhat is it about you that’s going to reach out and grab those potential clients and convince them you’re the magician they want?

The answer: Your ability to deeply engage their emotions in addition to, and even above, their intellect. And sure, that’s as true on-line as it’s always been off-line. Your design, layout, copy, balance between graphics and text, download speed, even your colors and fonts — and especially your overall information architecture and usability — all either draw your prospects in or push your prospects away emotionally.

Folks want to buy from businesses that make them feel good.

  • If you’re going to close more sales, you must acknowledge their need for trust.
  • You must mirror their values.
  • You must inspire confidence.
  • You must appear empathetic.
  • You must communicate that you are responsible and dependable.
  • You must offer them a delightful shopping experience (this is not to say you must entertain them… research proves that entertainment often will detract from buying, the opposite of what you intended).
  • And through it all, you must persistently convey that you understand their emotional needs as well as their material ones.

Our wants are directed by our emotions. Here are five of our strongest emotions that control much of the choices we make. If you understand the emotional reasons why your customers buy from you then you can begin to trigger these emotions in your prospects and customers.


Love is a powerful emotion. We do strange things when in love and in the name of love. People will shower their loved ones with beautiful and expensive gifts. They might compose songs, poetry or endure great hardships – all in the name of love.


If pride is considered a sin – then that would make sinners of us all. Why does your neighbor buy a bigger screen TV than yours? How did you feel when you first drove home with that new car? Who and what are you proud of? And what would you do to show and protect that pride?


Often it might be hard to know the real reason someone bought. Was it love or guilt?


This may be our most powerful driver. It is likely this emotion more than any other has helped humanity to survive. We learned to fear wild beasts, fire, and aggressive barbarians.

What fear might motivate your prospect to buy from you? Will not buying expose them to risk, missed opportunities or embarrassment? Many professional buyers operate on the fear principle. It is not that they want to make the right decision. They fear the consequence of making the wrong decision. How can you use or diminish that fear to make them buy from you?


“Greed is Good.” according to Gordon Gecko in the movie Wall Street. That line may have shocked viewers. Then consider this, “Sell to the Greedy, not the needy”. The greedy want more and they will pay for it.

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