The 5 Psychological Factors Behind Customer Decisions

Five, 5

… remembering that:

  • The perceived value of the solution is rooted in the customer’s trust of the sales professional.
  • Ease of implementation often encourages a buying decision.
  • Organize the available options with defaults that support the sales professional’s goal.

5. Perceptions of gains and losses drive buying decisions. Purchasing IT solutions is a complex endeavor. Therefore, the buying journey is long, iterative and full of unexpected turns. This volatility can incite fear on behalf of the buyer. Moreover, this fear exerts more influence over decisions than potential gains of equal size. That is, “losses loom larger than gains,” according to work published in one of the most cited behavioral research papers of all time.

The research continues, “the aggravation that one experiences in losing a sum of money appears to be greater than the pleasure associated with gaining the same amount.” This finding comes from Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, who gave this concept the name “prospect theory.”

Prospect theory also explains why bronze medalists are happier than silver medalists in the Olympics. Researchers studying the 1992 Summer Olympics noticed that “bronze medalists who were not expecting a medal were happier than silver medalists with gold medal dreams.” For the silver medalists, the sense of loss was greater than the sense of gain experienced by the bronze medalists. These findings illustrate the importance of perceptions. IT professionals can shape perceptions early and often by:

  • Developing agility that allows for smooth transitioning between selling skills.
  • Becoming a trusted adviser who is comfortable asserting a point of view.
  • Using a narrative structure to simplify the messaging.

The Takeaway

Customer needs, solution capabilities and technical capabilities are all becoming more complex. Navigating this complexity means understanding the psychological factors that drive all human decisions. These five findings can equip IT professionals to more effectively move through the increasing number of layers standing between them and the buyer.

Ben Taylor is the content marketing manager at Richardson, a global sales training and performance improvement company focused on helping customers drive revenue and grow long-term relationships. Its sales and coaching methodology combined with an active learning approach ensures that sales teams master new behaviors they can apply in front of buyers. Follow Richardson on LinkedIn or @RichardsonSales on Twitter.

Pages: Previous 1 2 3

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The ID is: 128145