Fletch & Co.

Why People Buy

Imagine a world where potential clients that interact with your brand choose your services without hesitation. It’s not a far-fetched dream – it’s a reality that can be achieved by understanding human behaviour and the psychology behind buying decisions… aka “why people buy”.

Every interaction, from a casual post on LinkedIn to a formal business proposal, holds the potential to sway a decision in your favour. The secret to getting this right comes down to tapping into the subconscious drivers that guide every purchasing choice, often unbeknownst to the buyer themselves.

When a potential client is faced with a decision, it’s rarely a straightforward process. It’s a delicate play of emotions, social cues, perceived value, trust, and a crucial yet often overlooked element — “pre-suasion”. This concept, introduced by Robert Cialdini, refers to the process of preparing recipients to be more receptive to a message before they encounter it. By strategically setting the stage for a positive reception, businesses can significantly enhance their persuasive power.

Understanding the Decision Maker

The biggest mistake most B2B businesses make with their marketing, is that they get caught up in the idea of selling to a business entity. However, the reality is that every business decision is made by a person or a group of people, which is why B2B marketing is fundamentally about Human-to-Human (H2H) interaction, not B2B interaction. To effectively market your services, it’s crucial to not only understand the needs of the business but also the decision-making processes, and the personal value, of the individuals within it.

People within businesses are driven by their own motivations, challenges, and emotions. A procurement manager, for example, might be influenced by the potential for cost savings, but they are also likely concerned with reliability and risk management. Meanwhile, a CEO might prioritise strategic growth and innovation, but they might also fear making decisions that could jeopardise the business’s future or their own reputation. 

It’s essential to create messaging to resonate on this personal level, empathising with the individuals’ pain points and aspirations. Use narratives that not only highlight how your services can solve business problems but also how they can make the decision-makers’ lives easier and more successful. Remember, every business interaction is an opportunity to build a relationship based on trust and mutual benefit.

The Psychology Behind Buying Decisions

Buying decisions are rarely made on a whim. They are the result of complex psychological processes influenced by a myriad of factors:

  • Emotional Triggers
  • Social Proof and Influence
  • Perceived Value
  • Trust and Credibility
  • Behavioural Science
Emotional Triggers: Emotions play a key role in purchasing decisions. Whether it’s the excitement of a new opportunity, the fear of missing out (FOMO), or the desire for prestige, almost every decision you make is triggered by emotion, and then backed by logic. Once you learn how to tap into these emotional triggers, you are more likely to succeed in converting prospects into clients.

Social Proof and Influence: Humans are inherently social beings. We look to others for cues on how to behave, and this extends to purchasing decisions. Testimonials, reviews, and case studies from satisfied clients provide powerful social proof that can sway potential clients towards choosing your services. 

60% of consumers trust recommendations from peers over brand advertising.

86% of B2B buyers say word-of-mouth is the most influential factor in making purchase decisions.

Perceived Value: The perceived value of your services is often more important than the actual cost. Clients are willing to pay a premium if they believe they are receiving superior value. This perception can be influenced by factors such as the quality of your service, your expertise, and the benefits you promise.

Trust and Credibility: Trust is the foundation of any successful business relationship. Clients need to feel confident that you can deliver on your promises. Building trust involves demonstrating your expertise, showcasing your track record, and maintaining transparency in all dealings.

Behavioural Science: Understanding behavioural science is crucial in shaping buying decisions. Concepts such as cognitive biases and heuristics play significant roles in how decisions are made. For instance, the confirmation bias leads people to favour information that supports their existing beliefs, making it essential to present data and testimonials that align with their values. Meanwhile, the framing effect shows that the way information is presented (positive vs. negative framing) can heavily impact decision-making. By tapping into behavioural science insights, you can create more persuasive messages and optimise your marketing strategies to better align with how people naturally think and make decisions.

Triggers Events and Their Role in Buying Decisions

Trigger events are specific occurrences or circumstances that initiate the buying process or significantly influence a potential client’s decision to make a purchase. These events create a sense of urgency or highlight a need that the buyer must address, often leading them to seek out solutions or services. Recognising and understanding these trigger events can provide valuable insights into why people buy, and how, and when, to market to your audience. 

Trigger events can be external or internal:

External Trigger Events: These include market changes, competitive actions, industry trends, and client feedback. Such events often prompt businesses to adapt and seek new solutions to stay competitive or meet new demands. 

For instance, a new regulation in data privacy might compel a tech company to invest in advanced cybersecurity solutions to ensure compliance. If you are a cybersecurity business, this trigger event would prompt you to ramp up you marketing and tap into the urgent need for compliance solutions by offering specialised services, highlighting your expertise in data privacy, and showcasing case studies of clients who successfully navigated similar regulatory changes with your help.

Internal Trigger Events: These include organisational changes, financial performance issues, operational challenges, and strategic initiatives. Internal triggers reflect shifts within the company that necessitate new approaches or resources. An example is a company experiencing rapid growth, necessitating the expansion of office space and the hiring of additional staff. Alternatively, if a business is facing a high turnover rate might signal operational inefficiencies or poor employee satisfaction, encouraging the business to seek robust HR solutions or employee engagement programs to improve retention and productivity.

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Understanding the psychology behind buying decisions is the key to smart marketing. But it’s only the first step, albeit a critical one. Knowing how to actively apply this knowledge and strategically employing techniques like pre-suasion and behavioural science principles to create compelling, persuasive marketing… that is where the gold lies and the fun begins. 

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