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Why People Buy [the Psychology Behind Buyer Intent] with David Priemer, Ep #133

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Why people buy things can seem like a mystery. What is the psychology behind buyer intent? Why do people make the decisions they do? In this episode of Negotiations Ninja, David Priemer joins me to share some of the science behind buying behavior. We talk about buyer experience, the importance of listening, and leveraging technology to help you learn.

David Priemer started his career as a research scientist and landed in the sales world by accident. After 20 years of working with 4 different startups and at Salesforce, he launched Cerebral Selling. His goal is to equip salespeople to become modern sellers who think like their buyers and are more effective because of it. Don’t miss the stellar insight he has to offer.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:33] The science behind buyer intent
  • [1:30] David Priemer’s background and experience
  • [3:49] The buying experience IS the product
  • [4:50] The importance of listening to prospects
  • [6:32] Servicing the relationship beyond the original solution
  • [8:50] How Technology accelerates the process
  • [10:16] How to handle the most common sales objection
  • [17:10] What attracting great customers looks like
  • [18:26] The concept of power dynamics/referent power
  • [21:51] It always come back to feelings and emotions

The experience IS the product

Everything someone buys is typically based on emotion. We buy certain clothes because we feel good in the brand. We buy a car for the aesthetic, the way it handles, and what it can do for us. We pay for certain types of food because the flavor is connected with positive memories or experiences. Buying is an emotional journey.

David uses the example of buying an iPhone. You can find it anywhere—Target, Walmart, Verizon Wireless, etc. It’s in any big-box store. But people prefer to purchase Apple products in the Apple Store. Why? They like the layout, the decor, the lighting, and the product displays. The experience in the store shapes the way they view the product.

Why people buy: because you listen

The 2018 Salesforce State of Sales Report asks salespeople which factors had an extreme or substantial impact on their ability to convert customers. The #1 factor? Listening. Sales are converted on the salesperson’s ability to listen more than anything else.

Think about it—listening allows you to understand the buyers’ position. When a buyer feels as if they’ve been heard and understood, they feel as if they’ve been given something. They feel more compelled to reciprocate and make a purchase.

On the flip-side, if a buyer feels like a salesperson isn’t listening, they aren’t interested in continuing the discussion. They lose interest quickly and end up moving on to someone else who listens to and understands their unique concerns.

The right way to handle a sales objection

Every salesperson runs into an objection in the course of a negotiation, most commonly: “That’s too expensive”. Many salespeople launch into monologues about the ROI and reasons to affirm the pricing. Or they immediately offer a pre-approved discount for the service or product. But a great salesperson responds with a question: “Explain what you mean by too expensive?”.

Is it because they don’t have the money or budget for the goods/service? Are they looking for a discount or more affordable option? Are they just going to hang up the phone and buy from a competitor? Learning more about their specific objection allows you to find the right way to handle it. It shouldn’t be a “one-size-fits-all” type of response.

Lead with what you believe

David points out that great brands don’t chase customers—they attract them. It isn’t always just about the product features and what sets them apart. But what are their values, mission, and vision? Apple makes innovative products with a beautiful design that’s all about the user. When a new iPhone is released, everyone knows. Tesla is another great example of innovative design that leaves everyone talking.

According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, buyers are belief-driven. They look to purchase from businesses that have similar beliefs to their own. They want to see the business making strides with a long-term societal vision. They’re motivated to feel good about the purchase they’re making. In the end, why people buy always connects back to feelings and emotions.

To hear more about buyer intent, listen to this episode of Negotiations Ninja!

Resources & People Mentioned

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