Buy­ing into a new buzz­word

Finweek English Edition - - Businesstrends - ANDILE MAKHOLWA

THE SALES AND MAR­KET­ING in­dus­try is tak­ing on a new shape as mar­keters move into lab­o­ra­to­ries to ob­tain in­sight into how con­sumers make buy­ing de­ci­sions. Tim Keys, MD of The Sales In­sti­tute, says “Neu­roe­co­nomics” is the new buzz­word in the in­dus­try, es­pe­cially in de­vel­oped coun­tries such as the United States and Bri­tain. Build­ing on the lat­est find­ings on neu­ro­science (which stud­ies brain ac­tiv­ity) – which re­veal we’re more in­stinc­tively driven in tak­ing de­ci­sions – Neu­roe­co­nomics com­bines neu­ro­science with psy­chol­ogy and eco­nom­ics to study how peo­ple make eco­nomic de­ci­sions.

“Chief among these find­ings is that pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions are in­tensely emo­tion­ally mo­ti­vated – not based on logic, as sales­peo­ple might like to be­lieve,” writes Keys in a Uni­ver­sity of Cape Town Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness news­let­ter.

“Ac­cord­ing to MRI (Func­tional Mag­netic Res­o­nance Imag­ing) scans, the strong­est mo­ti­va­tor in pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions is fear of loss. This re­veals why peo­ple are of­ten so re­sis­tant to mak­ing large pur­chases.”

What does this mean for sales­peo­ple? “Form­ing a re­la­tion­ship is the one sure way for sales­peo­ple to work around this in­stinc­tive fear – and turn it to their ad­van­tage. Rap­ping off the ben­e­fits of your prod­uct or ser­vice be­fore build­ing trust with a client is, on the other hand, a method doomed to fail­ure… The pres­sure sales man­agers place on im­me­di­ately clos­ing a deal, for ex­am­ple, can ac­tu­ally ex­ac­er­bate the fear of loss and cre­ate mis­trust in many buy­ers.”

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