Understanding Why Customers Buy

As business owners, we likely know the logical reason for why a potential customer should purchase our service or product.

I offer editing and writing services, for instance, because I understand the importance of clean, concise writing. I know how poor writing reflects on the writer. In fact, according to an article from Entrepreneur, writing that is riddled with grammar and spelling errors can be the detriment to job seekers.

It makes sense, then, that every person who communicates through writing should share the same regard for grammatical correctness. And yet, that’s not why customers come to me.

The obvious reason a customer would want to buy a product or service may seem logical, but the real reason that same customer makes a purchase has nothing to do with logic at all. As Bernadette Jiwa explains in a recent post, we business owners miss the point when we develop marketing content that tries to persuade customers with logic. “We mistakenly believe that changemaking and persuasion are only about getting someone’s attention by creating awareness of an issue or option, and then presenting people with rational arguments that will convince them to make choices we find desirable,” she states. “[P]eople make irrational decisions all the time.”

Returning to my business’s example, I could argue night and day that grammatically-correct writing matters. I could present facts and statistics that demonstrate this truth (just as I did at the beginning of this post).

If I truly want to engage with potential customers, though, I must set aside logic and appeal to the deeper emotions related to writing.

Often in my marketing content, I mention how writing can make a lasting impression. A powerful story can give readers goosebumps. A polished proposal can convince an investor to support a new business owner. A professional dissertation can instill pride in a student.

What makes the lasting impression is how a piece of writing makes a person feel, not whether or not the writing is grammatically correct or structured or even well thought out. Those are merely the attributes that lead to a desired emotional response.

Customers see the value in a product or service when they connect with it. That’s why our marketing content must appeal to emotion more than to logic. As Jiwa explains, “Messages that resonate deeply connect with people’s feelings. Successful ideas appeal to people’s hearts, not just their heads.”

In the end, use logic to develop your services or products. But when it comes time to market and sell, use emotion. When customers respond, you’ll understand why they want to buy.

Katie Signature001


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