Professional salespeople never forget they are selling to a human being, because that person is right in front of them. Copywriters, though, can become confused. They satisfy the requirement of filling a technical need, and forget there is a person signing the purchase order or keying in the credit card number. Unless personal emotional gratification is delivered, the sale may fall through because your solution is not perceived as relevant or important.
Why do buyers buy? Bob Stone, in his classic Successful Direct Marketing Methods, details the two categories of human wants: The desire to gain, and the desire to avoid loss.
Robert Collier, the “Giant of the Mails” who was at his peak in the 1930s, lists six prime motives of human action:
And here are Roy Chitwood’s six buying motives:
- Desire for gain (usually financial)
- Fear of loss (again, usually financial)
- Comfort and convenience
- Security and protection
- Pride of ownership
- Satisfaction of emotion
Note that every one of these is EMOTIONAL…people buy emotionally, not logically. This is true even when selling business products to people in a business setting, because people are still people.
Next time: features, advantages and benefits.