Understanding the Psychology of Buying: A Guide to Value Selling


In the world of sales and marketing, understanding the psychology behind why people make purchases is key. While it’s clear that people enjoy the process of buying, there’s a common aversion to feeling like they’re being sold to. This paradox presents a unique challenge for sales professionals: how do you sell without making your customers feel like they’re being sold to?

In order for anyone to make a change in their business, personal life, family, or health, they must first make a conscious decision to do so. This decision is often marked by a milestone or goal. From there, they begin to identify the problems they need to solve. As a B2B vendor, it’s our job to offer unique solutions that address specific challenges and help buyers reach those goals.

Enter value selling.

The Core of Value Selling
Value selling is a great way to reverse engineer the sales process. Instead of starting with the product or service you want to sell, begin with the end in mind – what does the buyer want to achieve? This approach requires a deep understanding of the buyer’s need for change. What specific problems are they facing that your product or service can solve? What goals have they agreed they would like to achieve? By identifying these problems and offering unique solutions that stand out from competitors, you position yourself as a partner rather than just another vendor.

Understand and Appreciate the Buyer’s Perspective
To achieve success in sales, it is crucial to recognize and understand the buyer’s perspective. It’s about understanding their initial assumptions and the potential benefits your solution can provide. Knowledge of your product’s features is merely the starting point. What’s paramount is knowing how your offering can integrate into the buyer’s specific situation. This entails pinpointing the influential figures within the buying process and crafting a strategy that aligns precisely with their distinct needs.

Collaboration not Persuasion
The traditional sales approach often involves pushing a predetermined solution onto the customer. However, value selling advocates for a more consultative dialogue. This involves collaboration, active listening, and accompanying the customer on their journey rather than directing it. By fostering this type of relationship, you’re able to gather more information and gain a deeper understanding of the buyer’s psychology. This insight allows you to better assist them in making purchasing decisions that truly meet their needs.

The Journey Towards Mutual Success
The goal of value selling is not just to make a sale but to build a lasting relationship with your customers. By focusing on their needs and goals, you demonstrate that you’re invested in their success, not just your own bottom line. This approach requires patience, empathy, and a genuine desire to help others achieve their objectives. But it is well worth it.

In conclusion, understanding the psychology of buying is essential for anyone in sales or marketing. By adopting a value selling framework, professionals can shift their focus from simply making sales to providing real value to their customers. This not only leads to more successful transactions but also fosters long-term relationships built on trust and mutual respect. Remember, people love to buy but hate being sold to – it’s your job to make sure they enjoy every step of their purchasing journey with you.

As a Vice President of Visualize, Gerard helps organizations improve business metrics by creating a better connection with their customer’s definition of value. He is focused on refining his client’s selling approach & their ability to differentiate – to drive increased revenues, market share and profitability.