Quick Summary: “One Must Have” versus many “Nice to Have” reasons will drive the purchase decision.


Virtually every sale involves moving a customer from the “nice to have” mindset to the “must have” belief state.  Although facts and figures and features and benefits about the product or service play a role in this transition, the decision to buy always comes down to an emotional commitment based on one factor.  Determining what that factor is becomes the crucial step in closing the sale.

The MOST COMPELLING REASON in the question “Who is the Customer and what is their Single Most Compelling Reason to Buy Now from You?” is what the customer feels and may have very little to do with the specific features, benefits, and competitive positioning of your product or service.  It is the primary driver that transforms the “nice to have” mindset to the “must have belief” for the offering. Note that the terms “mindset” and “belief” are emotional, not necessarily logical, terms.  There may be many factual considerations, but in the final analysis, the customer needs to be convinced that the product or service is important enough for them to make a commitment even though there is some level of risk in every decision.

Every purchase decision comes with risks.  All of us have suffered through the bad experience of making a purchasing decision that did not provide the results that we anticipated.  In today’s highly competitive environment most of us focus on avoiding failure rather than taking a risk for success.  This low risk tolerance makes it difficult to move from the “nice to have” mindset to the “must have” belief and willingness to “take a chance.”  As discussed in the article “The SINGLE in the Question” there is usually one factor that moves a customer from “nice to have” to “must have.”  After the decision is made, all of the other facts will be listed to help justify the shift.

It is interesting to note that a product or service offering feature may not be the single most compelling reason.  Instead, it may be the expected result of the offering.  For example, the purchase may result in peace of mind, improved market position, risk reduction, better compliance, or a number of other less tangible factors.  Understanding and focusing on these factors, instead of blindly focusing on telling the customer about all the features and benefits of the offering, is far more effective.  An excellent way of determining when it is time to re-focus efforts on the compelling reason is when the customer nods in total agreement that the offering is “just what we need” but is unwilling to make the purchase commitment.  Essentially, their mind agrees, but their heart does not.  Another telltale sign is if the customer falls back on the “price is too high.”  Pricing may be an issue, but in many cases, it is nothing more than a convenient excuse to avoid the real issue and make a commitment.

The compelling reason can vary from one individual to another and certainly can vary from one organization to another.  Understanding the personal motivations as well as the individual’s position is crucial.  You cannot uncover the compelling reason by talking, but only by listening and really hearing what they say and determining how they feel.

Article Number : 5.010305   

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