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The Power of Pain


I have a secret, when people buy from you it is for their reasons not yours. Now that you understand that concept, let’s discuss how we can get buyers to discover their reasons and more importantly, share them with us.

Think about your last purchase, why did you make the purchase? Perhaps the first things that come to mind are, "It was on sale, so you saved money," "it will allow you to get things done faster," or possibly "it will improve your health.” These are logical reasons. The reality is these are not the reasons you bought, it is how you justify the purchase.

The logical reasons you will often hear will typically revolve around money, efficiency, things that improve your product or add value, time, and things that will make you safer or healthier.

However, buyers purchase emotionally. Emotion is the foundation on which all buying decisions are made. Let’s look at the logical or intellectual reason of “saving money” as mentioned above. The “saving” or logical reason is not nearly as motivating as the fear of missing out. How many of us have ever bought something because if "I do not buy this today, I will lose out on the great deal.” The emotion is the fear of missing out. That is truly why we buy the item that is on sale.

Some of the emotional reasons we should be looking to help our buyers uncover are pain, recognition, achievement, job security, convenience, self-preservation, and pleasure. These emotions can be broken down even more simply to pain/fear and or gain/pleasure and they can be experienced in the present and/or be something to look forward to or avoid in the future. What do you think is the most motivating emotion to buy? If you said pain in the present, you would be correct!

Pain in the present is the most motivating buying emotion. This can be uncovered by asking the right questions and digging deeper into their answers. The initial response will usually be logical. Once you ask the follow up questions you often uncover the emotions behind the logic. These will be the true reasons why they will buy from you.

Now you have my secret. People buy for their own emotional reasons and justify with logical reasons. These emotional reasons could be pain/fear or gain/pleasure in the present or future and can be uncovered through good questions. The strongest motivation will be the avoidance of pain in the present. If your product or solution could help a prospect avoid the pain, you will have the sale!

Cal Thomas