7 reasons why people buy a product or service

by Steve Manning

What drives someone to buy something? The simple answer is that they either want it or need it. But there’s more to it than that. Every purchasing decision has an underlying motivation that we, as business owners, marketers or copywriters, need to identify.

You see, whether you’re selling clothing, microwaves or insurance, there’s a common set of reasons why people will buy your product or service. Once you identify and understand these reasons, you’re well on the way to unlocking the secrets of effective selling.

For example, if you’re selling home security systems, what are you really selling? That’s right – peace of mind. And peace of mind is an emotion; something that compels people to buy. Therefore, the following line does a good job of conveying the benefits of a home alarm:

“Protect your home and family with 24/7 peace of mind.”

Quite simply, you need to provide a clear and relevant reason for buying. And your copy needs to connect with the right human emotion. In this case, fear and/or security.

So without further ado, here are 7 powerful reasons why people buy:

1. To save money

Pretty simple one, huh! Whether it’s a 2-for-1 deal or a great rate on a home loan, saving money is a high priority for most people. So if you’re offering a cheap home loan, what are you really selling? You’re selling a way to pay the mortgage more quickly…therefore a way to have more money to invest…therefore a way to achieve financial security…therefore a way to enjoy a better standard of living.

2. To make money

Just like most people want to save money, we all like to make money to live comfortably, buy the things we want and to have a secure future. So if your product or service provides a way for people to make money, you need to appeal to their emotions. Investing is a good one. Ask your market if they would like a secure future for their family. Or ask them if they’d like to do the things they’ve always dreamed of – travel, buy a sports car or a holiday home.

3. To save time

If your product or service saves time, this means that your customer will have more time to do the things they’d rather be doing. A dishwasher is a great example. Why spend half an hour doing the dishes when this dishwasher can do it for you. Then you’ll have more time each evening to play with the kids, relax on the couch or go for a walk.

4. Convenience

This is such a strong motivator. Why? Because we are increasingly time poor these days and anything that adds convenience to our lives has great appeal. It makes our life easy. It removes hassle. Therefore, a product or service that provides a hassle-free experience is sensational – like the convenience of using a tax agent to do your tax.

5. Fear/security

Fear is another great motivational tool. Consider the following fears: Will you have enough money when you retire? Is the car you’re driving safe enough for your family? How secure is your job in these tough economic times? If your product or service provides peace of mind for your customers, tap into this emotion and tell them how you’ll solve their problem.

6. Ego gratification

This motivator is an oldie but a goodie. Anything that stokes the ego is terrific. People love praise from others, attracting others or creating a desired lifestyle. So maybe your product or service makes people feel good about themselves. Maybe it improves their image. If so, emphasise these benefits and appeal to their ego.

7. Pleasure

And finally, perhaps your product or service just makes people feel damn good! You might be a massage therapist, own an amusement park or a movie theatre. What you’re selling is fun, a reason to smile or a good time with family and friends.

So there you have it – 7 powerful reasons why people buy. As a business owner, marketer or copywriter, it’s important to identify these motivators and tap into them wherever possible.

If you’re able to provide the link between your product or service and the emotional benefit the person will enjoy, you’ll be well on the way to making a sale, earning more money, buying the things you want, securing your financial future…you get the picture!