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Buyer Desire – The Secret To Owning the Sale

By Kirk Heiner


When we meet with a new prospective customer, we need to give them plenty of information about our company, products and services so they can make a good decision, right?




Actually, the latest studies from such prominent sources as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Psychology Today and others show exactly the opposite is true. The most current statistics show that buying decisions are made based on emotion and they’re made at a sub-conscious level 90 percent of the time. It has almost nothing to do with a rational thought process.


How does this affect your company, your sales team’s ability to sell and your bottom line?


If your salespeople are pitching features and information about the benefits of working with you, but the invisible factor driving the decision is emotion, you may be pressing all the wrong buttons. Instead, you should be using that valuable time in your sales conversation with the prospect in deducing what emotional triggers will compel them to action. Why they buy, matters!


It’s Almost Never about Price

Too many salespeople go back to their managers and say, “We’ve just got to lower our prices.”


Years ago, I went to work selling for a larger residential stone company. Its main sales person was always asking the owner to lower the prices, insisting he could sell more jobs. Finally, to prove a point, the owner lowered prices by 10 percent. This salesperson had traditionally closed 20 percent of his new contracts with builders. Now with the new lower prices, he was ready to score. The result was that he sold 20 percent of new business.


What was funny, though, was what happened next. The owner raised the prices not just up to the old pricing, but increased them an additional 10 percent above the original prices, and the salesman still sold 20 percent.


It’s Always Too Expensive until…

You may have heard the saying “It’s always too expensive, until they want it.” This simple statement reveals a key to sales most people don’t know, let alone use, every day.


Why people buy can seem like a mystery. That’s why sales can often seem like a forbidden dark art. All of us who’ve been in sales for any length of time have gotten that sale we thought we’d never get, and lost one we were sure was “in the bag”.


“Why people buy” has been the subject of discussion in books, seminars and sales offices across the globe. However, once we understand what’s actually taking place in the mind of buyers, we will have an edge in making the sale.


Three Hidden Truths

I learned early on that when you create what I call “buyer desire,” they will willingly pay more. That’s the key. In relation, there are three things, or hidden truths, that most salespeople don’t realize:

  1. The first understanding in the decision process is that it’s not all taking place in the customer’s mind. It also takes place in their hearts. That’s why people seem to make irrational decisions, and we get tricked into expecting one thing while they do another.


  1. People buy on emotion, and then justify with logic. Emotions drive buying decisions every time. Whether it’s the emotions that drive them to choose low price, or an expensive countertop product that seems way out of line for their home’s value, it’s all driven by emotion. Even the decision of a purchasing manager for a large home builder is driven by emotions regarding doing what the boss has tasked them with doing, which is often cut costs, it’s still an emotional decision.



  1. All of the science proves emotions trump logic every time. That’s why it can seem nearly impossible to pry away a homebuilder from a current supplier of countertops even if you offer a better price. There’s an emotional reason behind the seemingly illogical choice not to even give you a shot at the business.


Buyers simply want what they want. So when a buyer stumbles upon something they just can’t live without, the sale is made. When they can only get it from one source, the decision is over.



Creating Buyer Desire

It’s the job of salespeople to create that buyer desire. You want to create a craving they can’t satisfy with anything other than what you have. How do you do that? There are several ways.


Unique Products - The easiest way is to offer compelling products they just can’t find anywhere else. Offer products that are unique and desirable. My shop used to bring in selected exotic granites that were not available from local suppliers. We could ask any price we wanted. In this arena – we owned the market.


Protect Your Assets - My company would bring in exotic granites and change the names of the stones so they couldn’t be easily price shopped. It worked great and drove the competition crazy. They would basically give up when the client had fallen in love with that color.


All in One - Deliver a one-stop experience. If you can provide both countertops and backsplashes, that ease is something buyers love. It makes it safe when they can visualize the entire space and products together.


Simple Seaming – The answer can be as simple as letting the clients choose their seam placement, or offering them options with less seams.


Seal the Deal - Consider providing a “Sealed for Life” program for your retail customers in which you contact them every six months to a year and ask if the countertop is still repelling water. If not, it gives you a reason to send a lower-cost, but customer-friendly employee out to apply sealer, leave business cards and refresh the relationship. You can use any calendar triggering system to remind a designated employee to reach out to them or have your salespeople do this as part of their lead generation and follow up for referral system. This way, when the customers (or their friends) think of countertops, you come to the top of their minds. It’s just one more hassle buyers simply don’t want to worry about. You’d be surprised how many jobs can come from this simple program. For those who love the looks of granite, but feel fearful of sealers, this works great. Charge a little more to cover the future costs.


Quartz and Branding – Quartz surfacing is a popular product. One reason why is that it doesn’t need sealed and requires virtually no maintenance. With quartz, one way to create desire is by representing a brand that nobody else has. Most countertop companies offer every quartz surfacing material available in the market. They’re afraid to lose a sale for not having the one the customer chooses. By selling a quartz brand that no one else carries, you can have compelling colors nobody else has. This is a great weapon in a sales arsenal.


Customization - For some builders, a program created just for them with a limited selection of products is often very appealing. Consider offering custom programs to meet their specific needs and concerns. Everyone’s always trying to solve problems and reduce hassles. Solve theirs and own the sale.


Consistent Service - Another factor is consistent, not necessarily better, service. Showing up on time and delivering great products every single time can be the emotional driver a builder desires. For commercial accounts and builders, price always seems to be a big factor, but it’s not THE factor. Keeping up with production and being on time, without issues, are things that create buyer desire for builders.


How you communicate about this value will make all the difference. It has to be anchored in customers’ minds that you are a solution to their greatest problem. This is where you must back your claims with proof and real-time service.


Creating Crave

Often a buyer will discover an aspect of the purchase they didn’t expect, and from then on, can’t live without it. Once you owned a car with automatic windshield wipers, could you imagine owning a car without it? You can create this kind of “I can’t live without this” mentality in the buyer, making it where they won’t consider buying from anyplace else.


Having special options such as a free upgrade in edging will create craving. It started years ago with the free undermount sink with purchase. Now it’s been done for so long and by so many companies it has lost its effect, but it worked. It set a new expectation.


With some of the new seam setting technologies you can offer a “disappearing seam technology” they can’t get anywhere else. Of course, this must be demonstrable in your store.


Perhaps the simplest and least expensive way to create craving they can’t live without has to do with timing. If you can do their job when they want it, you have struck gold. People today do not want to wait. If you can squeeze them in and get ‘er done, they’ll love you, and you can charge a bit more. When doing this, make it clear you are busy and in demand, but that you will make the special effort to get this done for them. You never want to seem like you can do it because you have very little work.


Pulling it All Together

In the end, it’s about building a value so high that the decision is inevitable. You want to consider having several of these ideas in place to create “buyer desire” because you don’t know which one will trigger it for each individual buyer and make you irresistible.


The biggest reason to make creating buyer desire important in your sales efforts is because with it, you differentiate your company from the herd, become irresistible, can charge more money and are much more likely to get the sale.


Buyer desire is about tapping into the invisible drivers we all use as we make our buying decisions. Remember, it’s not about information. It’s about the emotions behind our decisions. Base your future sales efforts on this important truth and you will own the heart of your clients and your market.


About the Author

Kirk Heiner is an author, speaker and sales trainer with more than 25 years in sales. He has conducted sales and training seminars for numerous companies including Lowe’s, DuPont, Danze, AWFS, the NKBA, KBIS, Stock Building Supply, the SBA and more. He can be contacted at [email protected].