The Psychology of a Sale

B Y   T O M   T O R T O R I C I

There may be someone, somewhere, sitting at their laptop right now, looking through your website. Perhaps at some point, they move their cursor over the Buy Now button. Their finger presses down on their mouse ever so slightly … and some of their money lands in your pocket.

But what really just happened?

Humans, predictably, operate out of self-interest. The countless decisions we make throughout our lives are each based on a ‘risk vs. reward’ calculation. We’re typically not even aware of this mental process, which impacts our lives in big ways and small.

Now, when that customer first landed on your site, by default, their money was more important to them than whatever you had to sell. But since your product benefits, marketing strategy, and website execution were all sound and in alignment, a psychological switch got flipped. Basically, owning your product became more important than holding on to their dollars.

To help understand this dynamic, picture a graph; the vertical axis represents importance, in the eyes of your prospect; and the horizontal axis represents time. There are two lines on this graph, going from left to right. One tracks Desire, and the other tracks Resistance.

Since your web visitor has learned not to be careless with their limited financial resources, resistance typically starts out high at the left edge of the graph. And since they haven’t learned yet about your product’s strengths, desire starts out low.

As they delve into your company website, they read about the positives of your product, and the negatives of other options – which could include competitive products, home-grown solutions, and taking no action at all.

As your website copy helps them picture a happy future as the owner of the product, the Desire line moves through time in an upward curve. And as you point out the foolishness of all other options, the Resistance line trends downward.

At some point, at least hopefully, the lines cross. The Desire line is now higher than the Resistance line in importance. What’s that sound you just heard? It’s the ka-ching of the cash register. Congratulations, you’ve just made a sale.

Buyers buy when they perceive that the value of the product is greater than the value of the money it costs to buy it. It can be a purely logical calculation. Or it can be purely emotional. Smart marketers, though, know that it’s almost always a combination of both.

Do company insiders and their website development team typically consider this dynamic as they plan and build a new website? In most cases, they’re more focused on the nuts and bolts of the site-building process, from their own perspective.

Which creates opportunity for sellers who are savvy enough to start by putting themselves in the buyer’s shoes. Which shouldn’t be hard, since every marketer has, in their own lives, gone through the desire-vs-resistance purchase decision process zillions of times.

So why doesn’t it occur to them to apply those valuable personal lessons in their professional capacity? Yeah, that’s a question that’s always stumped me too.

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Tom TortoriciAbout the Author:  Tom Tortorici is an Atlanta copywriter and web content writer who helps companies make a genuine connection with their audience. His classes and conference presentations have focused on how writing, strategy and design can work together to grab attention and interest even among readers with short attention spans. In addition to working directly with businesses, Tom regularly partners with web designers and marketing agencies.

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Tom Tortorici Inc. | | 770-934-7861 | 3101 Rockaway Rd | Atlanta GA 30341