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The Psychology of the Purchase

m&s blog 5.5.16

You may understand the link between a customer’s character and personality better now, but did

you also know there is a psychological process to every sale? Whether it is small one dollar

purchase or a million dollar purchase, research has shown the human brain goes through a 10-

step buying process before making any purchase. Today we’ll briefly describe each step with

more follow-up in the days to come:

1. Involuntary Attention: before a customer ever considers buying an item, their attention

must be piqued. This is often done by subtle messages they do not even recognize.

2. The First Impression: yes, first impressions do count! If their first impression of either

you or your product isn’t satisfactory, the customer will move on.

3. Curiosity: Humans have an instinctual need to explore the unknown. Once their interest

is piqued, they tend to look for what else the product or you can offer.

4. Interest: If you have done your job well thus far, the prospect’s curiosity will turn to

interest. This is the stage of the buying game where they begin to ask questions and they

need solid answers.

5. Consideration: Having had their initial questions answered, a buyer will begin to

consider a purchase if they can see any real value in it.

6. Imagination: all too often salespeople disregard the customer’s need to imagine

themselves using and owning the product. Without this important link they might not

think the purchase is worth it.

7. Desire: Seeing themselves using the product and “wanting” it are two different

emotions. Elicit that want feeling in the customer and the sale is almost complete.

8. Deliberation: This is the part of the process where the customer begins to try to either

talk themselves into or out of the purchase.

9. Decision: once the customer has all the facts and can sort through their decision they will

make a decision; to buy or not to buy.

10. Action: once the decision is made; action is necessary. This is often referred to as the


Keep in mind some people can move quickly through these steps only taking a few minutes,

while others may take hours or even days to work their way through each of the psychological

buying steps necessary in order to make a final decision. It is your job as a salesperson to

understand these steps and help a customer work through any roadblocks they may encounter

along the way.

About Jessica Brinkman

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