The Psychology of Purchase Decisions — and How to Apply it to Your Business

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Everything we do involves an ‘underlying motivator’ that drives the motion or action taken. For example, you might take up running to lose weight, in which case, the ‘lose weight’ is the underlying motivator.

Similarly, underlying motivators play their part in getting people to do certain things — whether that be encouraging your bank manager approving your overdraft account, persuading an event organisation to take you on as a guest speaker, or enticing a prospect into buying your products.

The better you understand your clients or customers’ motivating factors or ‘motivators’, the easier it will become to convince them to buy from you
As well as closing sales, understanding and addressing what motivates your customers will help create clearer and more effective communication.

There are five major motivating factors:

1. Recognition
Those motivated by gaining ‘recognition’ are essentially interested in gaining greater admiration, esteem, celebrity, notoriety, regard or respect.

For example, let’s say you are an image advisor. One of the main recognition motivators your target group shares is that they want to look and feel good. Some might go one step further and aspire to follow the style of, say, Sienna Miller.

Often, people who improve their physical appearance are more successful because of their confidence boost. If you can tap into this prime motivator and understand it well enough with regard to how your product or service fits in, then you will be a lot closer to motivating your prospects to buy from you.

2. Profit
Your prospective customers might be influenced by the ‘profit’ motivator. This involves people striving for success or gaining more acquisitions, growth, income, money, possessions or wealth. Are any of these provided by what you offer?

3. Urgency
This is a good one, but it is often overlooked or underplayed. Just think what would have happened if there were only 10 copies of J K Rowling’s follow-up to the first Harry Potter release! People are more inclined to take immediate action and justify their purchase decision if there is a sense of urgency about whatever it is that they are buying.

4. Efficiency
This is an enormous motivating factor — and an important one to consider, especially with today’s frenetic-paced society. Perhaps you can demonstrate that your product or service will save your prospects time and effort…

5. Internal
Some people are motivated by ‘internal’ factors. So focus on things such as creativity, duty, intellect, honour, morals and philanthropy are important to this group.

Finding out what your visitors want is vital, but finding out WHY they want these things reveals their innermost motivations. Target these motivations with your marketing, advertising, PR and web content. When you write words that tie into the emotions of your readers, and about what really motivates, you will never lose their interest or attention.

In my years as a PR exec, journalist, editor, copywriting and marketing I’ve discovered that telling people the truth and giving a reason WHY you’re saying what you’re saying is one of the most powerful psychological motivators to get people to take action. That might translate into your prospects picking up the phone to place an order, send back a reply card for more information or just simply reading all that you have to say.

I’ve also discovered that pain is perhaps the biggest motivator of all.

All animal life revolves around two powerful psychological motivators: pain and pleasure. And every single minute of the day, we are trying to either seek pleasure (through dreaming, thinking or attaining our goals, aspirations and desires) and/or we are trying to avoid pain (steering clear of traffic jams, not getting frustrated by anything or one, and so on),

People will do pretty much anything to avoid or get out of pain.

So you tie this into the specific pain your target audience — your prospective customers — are concerned about and the pleasure they hope to achieve and whether your product or service can help them.

You could ask questions like, “What would this person lose if she fails to buy my product/service?” “What is the cost of failing to act or delaying to buy?” and “What if this product/service wasn’t available anywhere?”

Just think of ways to slant your marketing messages to include motivational triggers to the emotions generated by carefully chosen and placed words. However, never be aggressive, arrogant or pushy in your presentation. That would only damage your motivational trigger . . .  and your prospect will walk away.

And bear in mind that you are NOT creating pain for your prospects. You are simply helping to see the pain — that is already there — for what it really is, and comparing it to what could happen/would be if the pain was removed and ‘pleasure’ was put in its place.

Essentially, it all boils down to playing detective. Find out what motivates your current customers as well as what motivated them to do business with you in the first place, and use this knowledge to tap into your prospects’ ‘hot’ buttons. That way, you’ll be much closer to closing the deal — and way ahead of your competitor, paarticularly so if they fail to acknowledge the importance of motivators themselves.

By Tracey Dooley, Creative Consultant | PR Doctor | Marketing & Alliance Strategist

Online marketing not getting the results you want? 
Let Tracey teach you how to produce PPC ads, blogs and email 
copy that impresses the spam filters AND your readers: http://tinyurl.com/ywyucg

(Why struggle needlessly when you can get expert affordable mentoring and have fun attracting clients easily?) 

(C) 2007-2011 T Dooley, All Rights Reserved 

Want to use this article (or any article, tip or post on this blog) on your website, blog, a message board or in an ezine? Not a problem! But please give credit where it’s due. You MUST include copyright info above, along with the following:

Tracey Dooley is a freelance copywriter, editor and marketer. She has spent 18 years crafting compelling concepts and copy that successfully sell, inform, educate or entertains. Her expertise runs across many different sectors and her client list includes marketing agencies, a leading supplier of personal computers, semi-conductors and telecommunications equipment and the UK’s largest TV and interactive production company. =====>  www.mediaminister.co.uk.

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Is This the Holy Grail to Business Growth?

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One day it’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising . . . the next it’s Social Media . . . then it’s a new variation on SEO (search engine optimisation) . . . and the list goes on. While these tools can help a business, not one has proven to be the ‘magic bullet’ to catapult your business to success and really set you apart from the competition.

However, there is a single, often-overlooked tool that can and does.

Many top business-owners and marketers from around the world use it. It has the power to make everything you do for your own business work better — from product launches right through to traffic strategies to customer service.

By disregarding this tool, you run the risk of letting your competition take full advantage of it . . . and so accede to them not only getting better results from ANY marketing technique or strategy they use, but also gain a significantly better market share than you.

So what is this essential business tool?

Copywriting.

“Yes, but I already know how to write,” you’re thinking. That’s great. But while we can all ‘write’, copywriting involves SO much more than simply penning a few well-crafted words. Before she or he writes, a good copywriter will spend a considerable amount of time researching the intended audience. They’ll make sure they understand buyer behaviour and how to craft your message in such a way that it really makes a splash.

The Key to Your Success — Online or Offline

Good copywriting can make confusing policies crystal clear. It can keep inter-company communications running smoothly through the careful use of words. And it can build relationships, be positively persuasive and ethically ‘sell’ a company’s products or services.

In short, it is the MESSAGE that you present to your target market — at every stage of the sales process. And, as any top author, business-owner or marketing expert knows, WHAT you say and HOW you communicate with your prospect means everything to your business.

Considering Cost Effectiveness

The problem is that most entrepreneurs and SMEs lack either the time to do justice to their ‘business words’ or they lack the necessary skill sets in order to communicate their company’s message effectively.

There is no doubt that copywriting is labour-intensive and time-consuming. Let’s say you’re a small business-owner and you’re spending at least several days per week writing the copy for your sales letters or your blog posts. How much money could you have earned in that time? Would your business suffer more or less by continuing to write your own copy when you have one-hundred-and-one other things you need to do, as opposed to hiring a copywriter to take care of it for you?

No Short Cuts, Now, Please!

Okay, so let’s assume you have the time and you don’t mind that hiring outside will probably save you a lot more than your time is worth. You can always learn to master copywriting yourself through an assortment of educational tools.

What you need to do here is make sure you ALWAYS carefully choose the right words for the right audience and in the right context. If you don’t adequately explain how you differ from your competition . . . If you can’t convey all the relevant benefits you bring to your prospect . . . or the credibility you have . . . or you don’t know what response triggers to use . . . and more, then you are putting a very low ceiling on your overall business growth.

So don’t be tempted to cut costs or give short shrift to copy development. Instead, make sure you are doing everything possible to optimise the performance of the words you use for the benefit of your company. Believe me, your business will thank you for it.

By Tracey Dooley, Creative Consultant | PR Doctor | Marketing & Alliance Strategist

Better Writing Skills 101 — Write Your Way to Blockbuster Results and BOOST Business to Boot explains the ins and outs of good, effective business writing and shows you how to work within the ‘rules’ (or, indeed, when to break them) to write persuasive or professional emails, letters, brochures and more that are clear, convincing and make an impact. Find out more here:

http://bit.ly/BizWriting101

(C) 2010 T Dooley, All Rights Reserved 

Want to use this article (or any other entry on this blog) on your website, blog, a message board or in an ezine? Not a problem! But please give credit where it’s due. You MUST include the following:

Tracey Dooley of MediaMinister (www.mediaminister.co.uk) is an experienced copywriter, editor and marketer. She has spent 18 years crafting compelling concepts and copy that successfully sell, inform, educate or entertains. =====>  www.mediaminister.co.uk.

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New Beginnings…

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As this is my first post of 2011, I have to officially say … HAPPY NEW YEAR!

So we have a new year ahead of us and we are going to make it count. No ifs. No buts. We are, and we jolly well will!  😉

That means taking time to look at the next 6-12 months and decide what you want for yourself AND your business. Then, once you know what that is, think long and hard about this: What do you have to do or become to get there?

For example, many solopreneurs tell me they want to start a second stream of income or grow their existing business by leaps and bounds, but they admit they don’t have the self-discipline to make it happen. They may have learned all the right things to do, they tell me, but DOING them is another matter.

To get help with this, do what I do: Learn from the best. Enrol yourself in a mentoring programme. It’s the commitment, accountability, CONTINUAL support, guidance and feedback that will make the biggest difference in your success.

This is precisely why I’m so excited about the year ahead. My business coach and I are making BIG plans for my business in 2011, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a rather SPLENDID year.

I wish you the same, along with everything that your heart desires in 2011.

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