The Secrets of Getting People to Buy From You: It is Not What You Think

Want someone to buy something from you? Then you need to create a great product and use lots of marketing to make sure they see it right?

Well actually no. That is one way to get people to buy for you sure, and neither of those things are going to hurt, but actually people don’t always buy the ‘best things’ and often they spend money for reasons that are completely unfounded in logic and actually don’t make that much sense when you break them down.

working out

An example that I like using to illustrate this is the ‘Insanity Workout’. What this is is a workout that teaches you how to build lots of muscle and burn fat by following guided exercise DVDs for 90 days. If you can just follow it for 90 days, you’ll get the body you want. No wonder it sells, what’s not to like?

But there’s a big problem with the product that many people know but don’t really consider. That problem is that this is just one of thousands of training programs out there that have been shown to be effective, and while this one costs $200, 99% of the rest can be found online completely for free. So why are people buying training programs for $200 when they could download something almost the exact same for free?


And the answer of course is emotion. There’s an element of marketing to consider here yes, but ultimately that marketing also relies on emotion to work.

The real reason that someone buys an Insanity Workout package is not because they think it’s a worthwhile investment or because they want the program. Rather they spend the money partly because they want the body that comes from the workout (this is called the ‘value proposition’) but also because in spending the money they feel like they’ve made progress. By spending money they have made their ‘first step towards a new life’ which allows them to feel good about themselves and to for one moment imagine that they already have the body of a God that they think will answer all their problems.

And actually in this scenario the fact that they’re spending more money makes them feel even better, because they assume it must actually work and because that demonstrates just how serious they are about changing.


There’s another benefit here too: convenience. People buy workouts like this because they get the whole package delivered to them ready to watch – rather than having to hunt around the web to find all the information and compile it themselves.

This convenience is also why people will pay for apps on the app store and books on Kindle. You can get the same information online again, or a free version of a similar app, but when you’re sitting there looking at an app that you think must be good because it costs a little more… then it’s just too easy to simply click ‘buy’ rather than search for something similar or read reviews.

Rigorous workout

Identity and Tastes

We also spend money on things to express ourselves and to show who we are. When we pay for an Insanity Workout it tells ourselves and the world that we’re going to get into shape. When we spend money on a t-shirt, it tells the world something about our fashions and tastes. We often eat at the same restaurants because we want to act consistent with our previous behaviour and because we want to demonstrate our own tastes. It helps too if we feel like we actually like the venue – which is why customer loyalty is so important. People spend money on things to show their affiliation with those things and to support them, so ask yourself what your products or services say about your own customers.


Note finally that people tend to buy based more on emotional reasons when they buy quickly and on impulse. This is why you should always try to encourage a rapid sale – whether that’s through a limited offer, through urgent marketing materials or through low prices.

Tap into the emotional reasons people spend money on things and you’ll find your profits are transformed over night…

About the Author: The author of this post, Craig Richards, is a freelance blogger who often writes for BreakAway Loyalty, a company that provides travel rewards. An avid basketball fan, Richard idolizes Michael Jordan.

Photo credits: louish, stoermchen