What SMB Owners Need to Know about Buyer Psychology

What SMB Owners Need to Know about Buyer Psychology

The connection between marketing and psychology is evident. What is the most valuable asset of every company? The customers, of course. And in order to sell them, you need to know them, and the reasons behind their purchase decisions. Marketing uses the psychological triggers humans have to build their brand awareness and eventually drive more sales.

The concept of using not only psychology but also neurology in trying to appeal to one’s customers has been around for quite a while and every small business owner needs to aware of at least the very basics.

1. Buyers and their egos

Buyers think of themselves when making a purchase. They think about what they will gain when buying, which means that you need to play to your buyers ego to make them more comfortable with the purchase decision. When can answer their “What’s in it for me?” question satisfactorily and definitely, you’ll have gone a long way toward making a sale. Address your customers’ egocentric tendencies.

2. Purchase decisions are rooted in logical facts and emotional impulses

The human brain has two sides – left (analytical and logical) and right (subjective, intuitive). In your thought process, both sides of the brain matter, and we’ll never make a purchase decision based solely on logical factors. For example, when someone buys a Porsche, they will fall in love with the car instantly, and justify the decision afterwards by looking up the vehicle’s specifications, such as safety record, design, engine, horsepower, etc. This means that both sides of the brain work to make this purchase decision.

3. Buyers want value

They want to get as much value as possible, and “win” the battle against the seller. However, value is relative, not a fixed number, and depends on what the buyer is willing to pay and what has to gain. On the other hand, you as a seller want to demonstrate as great a value as possible, appealing to their need to “win”.

4. Buyers want to avoid losses more than to gain

To point out what a buyer can potentially gain from buying your product/service requires a creative and imaginative leap on their part. They have to imagine themselves in a better place or position by having bought from you. However, this leap can be tenuous, as it’s not always easy to take. On the other hand, you can also start from their real pain points by claiming that they won’t have to suffer their current, existing pains after buying from you. This is based on the human notion of fleeing losses, which they can relate to more easily as they live this reality on a day-to-day basis. Once they understand and relate to this pain point, as well as they can have the power to remove it, they will be much more convinced.

Fashion buyer

5. Buyers are suspicious

They are naturally suspicious because they know that the agenda of a sales rep is to sell. These self-serving agendas don’t necessarily benefit anyone but themselves, so they have a good reason to be suspicious. Because of that, establishing a trust and credibility with customers is what many selling experts preach all the time. Consultative selling (term first appeared in the 1970s) has emerged to overcome the buyers’ natural suspicion barriers, positioning the sales rep to actually help the buyers, not just sell something to them. When properly executed, this approach often reveals invaluable information about the buyer’s desires, which makes it easy for the sales reps to match them up with product-related benefits they’re selling.

6. Buyers follow the crowd

Well, most of them do. To justify our decisions, most buyers value proof in numbers. If many people choose to buy a product, then there’s must be a good reason for that, right? Buyers will be swayed by what many of their peers have done, which is why social proof is a powerful selling weapon. If you manage to show your potential buyers how their peers have opted to buy from you, and benefited, they might get a positive “herd’s” perspective as well.

7. Buyers react to stories and visual elements

Buyers relate more powerfully to stories of past successes and visual components. They crave figures and facts, which is why numbers so prominently feature in brochures. When it comes to closing the buying gap, charts and graphs can go a long way. On the other hand, stories of past successes can have the buyers imagine themselves in the previous buyer’s shoes, which is why these stories resonate so strongly with them. Even eCommerce websites utilize user psychology, providing them with success story videos, displaying what others are buying, and how much they’re satisfied. Buyers want to gain the same successful experience, so never miss an opportunity to document such stories.


The right selling skills and tactics are essential to making sales, but understanding the buyers psychology of purchase decision is important as well. Your selling reps are selling to real people with feelings and impulses, not emotionless robots. They will be more successful if they know how to appeal to those. Do you know why people buy?

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