Sell to buyers’ emotional and logical requirements

Some customers will merely buy a product because it makes them feel good. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Some customers will merely buy a product because it makes them feel good. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Let’s cut to the chase. Customers buy for two reasons only: solutions to problems and good feelings. The former is objective, the latter subjective. The successful sale lies in achieving both. Now then, let’s look at each.

If customers did not have problems that needed solving they would not need your product or service. To make a sale, therefore, it behoves you to demonstrate how your product assuages your buyer’s pain point.

This is best achieved not by merely explaining what the product is, but what it can do, and, (and this is where the rubber meets the road) how it solves his problem.

It’s a fine line between steps two and three and indeed most sellers stop at the second and leave interpretation of the third to chance and likely lose the sale.

Converting the facts about the product and how it solves the buyer’s problem is what will get you the sale. For instance, stopping at, “our revolutionary elevator opens from opposite sides”, is saying what it is (step one), not what it can do (step two) for him (step three).


So, to the airport manager it’s, “It eases traffic flow, and therefore queues, by allowing passengers to alight from either side of it.”

To the hospital: “The two door lift saves lives because it cuts down by half the time it takes in an emergency to wheel a patent from casualty to theatre; this is because entry and exit is possible without having to turn the stretcher”; and, to a warehouse manager, “The lift saves time and heightens safety; this is because the need for driver of the forklift to turn this way and that across the factory floor is eliminated, plus there’s no need for him to climb a ramp to go to the upper floor.” 

This way, the customer sees how your product solves his problem and therefore increases your chance of making the sale. Alas!, logic alone does not suffice to make a sale.

Customers will buy from you even when they don’t feel good about you, only because they have no option.

Kenya Power with its growing customer dissatisfaction index is a classic example. In this instance, tolerance takes the place of affection. When buyers merely tolerate you, they are waiting with bated breath to jump ship at the next option presenting itself.

Yet buying is complex behaviour. There’s a popular shop renowned for selling finishing materials for a building even though they also sell other household items. Every year this shop has a grand sale. Women are their primary customers at this time.

Most will admit that they did not buy the cutlery because they needed to solve a (logical) problem. They bought to solve an emotional one. They feel good that they took advantage of a sale, that the cutlery “looks nice” as it adorns their kitchen and is the envy of others.