All customers make their buying decisions based upon one of these reasons:

They believe the purchase will make them money, save them money or preventthem from losing money. The economic gain may be direct (buying a set of tireson sale from one store saves $80.00 compared with the price at another store) orindirect (staining a deck will prevent a costly repair job later).

People buy a meal in a restaurant for the tasty food and the pleasantenvironment; they get good seats at the theater so they can see better; they buygood quality furniture because it's more comfortable and holds up better; theyinvest time and money in sports for the pure fun of the experience.

A Mercedes Benz costs twice as much as a Buick and at least as much more tomaintain. It would be hard to argue that a Mercedes does a two-times better jobof transporting the driver than the Buick. But it sure makes the owner feel muchbetter picking up a friend in a Mercedes or dropping it off with the parkingvalet.

Chances are, you are already disagreeing with my assessment of why peoplemake the choices they do, and that gets to my real point. Some people eat outall the time and in nicer restaurants because they perceive great value from theexperience; others almost never eat out, even if they can afford to. Some peopledrive a Mercedes; others at the same income level drive a Buick or a Honda.

Before you can close any sale -- of any product to any customer -- youneed to know two things:

  1. What factors most motivate their buying decision?

  2. For each factor, what level (of quality, value, comfort, ego satisfaction, economic gain, fear, risk avoidance, etc.) are they willing to pay for?
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