Why do people decide to purchase one item instead of another one? In this Expert Insight Interview, Michael Barbera discusses consumer psychology and sales and marketing alignment. Dr. Michael Barbera is a Chief Behavioral Officer at Clicksuasion Labs, an award-winning consumer psychologist with many 500 Fortune clients, business strategist, speaker, and teacher of consumer psychology.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- The consumer psychology baseline
- How to control the variables
- How to build trust in B2B
Consumer psychology is a study of decisions and choices. It studies why we choose one item instead of an alternative, and it reduces the barriers between the brand and the consumer’s choice. People think that the price is the main determinator when making a choice which product to buy, but there are other variables as well that impact our decision. One of them is a perceived value. A buyer is willing to pay a different price for the same product in different situations. For example, for the same bottle of beer, a person would be willing to pay eight dollars in the grocery store, twelve dollars in the luxury resort, and fifteen dollars anywhere in a time-limited and pressured situation.
We cannot eliminate the variables that impact our buying choices, but we can reduce and control them. The solution for that is message framing, and IKEA is doing a phenomenal job in framing its messages. Firstly, when we arrive at IKEA, the sight of an enormous warehouse makes us think that we can find in there everything we need. But, if it does happen that a couch we were looking for is not there, the sign-in IKEA will have an “oversold” message. The sign will not say “out of stock” or “unavailable” like in other stores. That way, IKEA takes the blame off itself and makes us, the buyers, to blame other buyers for buying the product we wanted. So, now because of the social proof, we must have that couch. The other example is airlines changing their “delayed “message to “slightly behind” for their late flights.
Build Trust in B2B
Regarding specifically B2B, the way to reduce and control the barriers is to build a trustworthy relationship and friendship with the buyer. The reason for that is because no decision made by a human being is entirely objective without any emotion. Businesspeople also make choices lead by emotion. Sometimes, just a phrase that we use makes a person feel a certain way, which determines whether we close the sale or no. The main mistake people make in B2B sales is that they put their objectives in front of the buyer’s goals. Building a perceived trust with the client is crucial, which means putting yourself in a position that the client trusts your performance without thinking that you would take any advantage.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.