Understanding Buying Behavior

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What Sales Reps Need To Know About Buying Behavior

Salespeople know a lot about selling but they can they can improve their performance by learning more about buying behavior.


Books have been published on this subject but I’ll try to sum up a few points in this post about buying behavior and what sales reps need to know about it.

Being extremely general, people and companies buy to solve a problem. That simplistic statement excludes all the purchases that are made by people that don’t need what they just purchased. We’ve all done that and it will continue to be part of our buying behavior.


That said, let’s look a little deeper.


I said people buy to solve a problem but what about those new shoes that were purchased on impulse?  An individual may have 20 pairs of shoes in their closet so what problem is being solved by that impulse purchase?


Well, those new shoes make them feel good. People want to feel good and those new shoes solve that problem.


My expertise is in B2B sales so I’d like to focus on buying behavior in that arena. Businesses buy to solve problems and if there is something they want that they don’t need, they’ll make up a problem to justify the purchase.


If a CEO wants a new corporate jet, he or she will find a reason for one.


Salespeople know, or should know, that prospects purchase benefits and not products. No one buys a mop for the sake of purchasing a mop. Understanding that buying behavior, salespeople sell the benefit… a clean floor.


They don’t sell a mop to prospects looking for a clean floor. This is key to understanding buying behavior and the role benefits play in buying behavior decisions.





Buying behavior in corporations changes as the economy go through its mood swings. When the economy is strong, corporate buying behavior is focused on increased productivity. However, even in strong economies, companies also enjoy the benefit of saving money. That said, in a weak economy, those benefits must be presented differently in light of the change the economy brings to changes in buying behavior.


Understanding Buying Behavior Like A Top Pro


In a weak economy, corporations and people want to hold on to what they have.  This shift in buying behavior should not be ignored. Top sales reps understand how to present benefits in accordance with this shift in buying behavior. They change “saving money” to “stop loosing money”. This is a subtle yet extremely powerful shift that plays well into the change in buying behavior that happens when the economy is on its knees.


My sales training always begins with a focus on why people buy. Understanding buying behavior is just one of many disciplines salespeople must master to enjoy a successful sales career. I hope you’ll benefit from this post.


I wish you great sales success!


Nick Moreno



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