How Customers Buy… & Why They Don’t

How Customers Buy… & Why They Don’t by Martyn R. Lewis deals with how customers make buying decisions and why they might decide to go buy what they want somewhere else (if they even buy at all).

The days of being a door-to-door salesman are over, but that doesn’t mean that customers won’t still metaphorically shut the door in your face if your sales strategy isn’t all there. When they walk into your store or even if they’re just looking for the best deal for a new Roomba on DuckDuckGo, they probably have a decent idea of what they want to accomplish but may not respond well to high-pressure sales tactics from salespeople who make a commission on every sale. But they will respond well if you follow the advice in this book from start to finish or at least remember you when they are finally ready to commit to a purchase.

This book considers the psychology of buying decisions, regardless of whether it’s an individual buyer looking to make a home purchase or a business associate looking for a new source of printer paper. The most important thing you should worry about is whether you can clench the sale or need to move on to the next potential customer.

Some things to consider:

  • When you are selling a product, do you really need to talk to the CEO, or would you be better off talking to the head of procurement? Who’s actually going to be using the product the most?
  • Can you solve a problem the potential buyer has?
  • Can you talk to the people who already know exactly what they want?
  • Can you handle it if the “man of the house” is unavailable or uninvolved in the buying decision?
  • Can you handle it if the customer raises concerns about a product, takes their time making a choice, or even shows willingness to walk away because they think they can do better somewhere else?
  • Who’s your target audience? What motivates them to buy? What marketing strategies would work best? Can you establish yourself as someone who truly understands your products and the problems they solve rather than just using the latest buzzwords?

How Customers Buy covers all these topics in a way that content writers often call “evergreen.” It’s information that’s as likely to apply 10-20 years in the future as it does now. Because how people buy hasn’t changed a whole lot now that door-to-door salesmen have mostly been replaced by online search engines and online product reviews. And even online, customers can as easily find a good place on a gadget on Best Buy as on Amazon … if they buy at all.