The Psychology Of Selling

Topics: Classical conditioning, Behaviorism, Operant conditioning Pages: 9 (1657 words) Published: March 27, 2015

The psychology of selling: Why people buy?


Tan Kuangming


When sales people are communicating the sales message to the customers, it is important to know the reason behind consumer behaviors. In other words, why people buy? Based on the reasons, sales people can decide what kind of products are suitable for the customers, the content of the presentation and the negotiation skills for achieving win-win situations. Therefor, the psychology of selling is to master the way to push customers to make buying decisions. As Gilberto (2010) states, studying consumer behaviors has significant bearing on marketing and public relation decisions, which can enhance particular marketing campaigns to successfully connect with consumers. In order to get deeper understanding of underlying consumer behavior, we have to define consumers at first. According to Solomon, Bamossy, Askegaard and Hogg (2010), a consumer is generally a person who identifies a need or desire, makes a purchase and then disposes of the product during the consumption process. Hence, consumer behavior is comprised with a series of processes and then one purchasing decision outcome influences the next time repurchasing decision, which runs like a wheel.

Consumers as Individuals
As individuals, people look inside themselves. They will define their actual concept, the realistic condition they are now, and ideal self, which is the conception of how they would like to be. Basically, people buy products because products can help them reach ideal self or be consistent with actual self. For example, when someone realizes he is hungry, which is the actual self, and then he has the need or motivation to buy some food to reach satiation, which is the ideal self. In this case, the products of food take the role of functioning and satisfying the need. However, things are much more complicated in most cases and usually people make purchasing decisions for more than particular functions. Especially in modern business world nowadays, being exposed under innumerable advertisements like TV ads and a bunch of congeneric products, consumers behave in a more complex way as well. At first, products can be regarded as extended self, which is considered a part of the consumer. Under self-image congruence model (Hosany and Martin, 2011), consumers demonstrate their values through purchasing behaviors and select the products whose attributes correspond with them to certain extent. For instance, rich people have more motivation to consume luxury cars like Ferrari because they believe the cars can represent their status and images and show others how wealthy they are (Bagwell and Bemheim, 1996). On the contrary, even though many bourgeoisies have the ability to afford the luxury cars, they do not think it is worthy to spend so much on it and neither do the luxury cars conform to their images of middle class. Secondly, the factors of personality and lifestyle must be counted, too. Comparing to impatient customers, patient customers can have more time on selecting products. Thus, their buying decisions will be after various considerations. To them, better experience of selecting process in interacting with sales people or the layout of the store can make a difference on final decision to some degree. In a similar way, those with healthy lifestyle are inclined to consume more fruits and vegetables while the others spend more on fast food. Moreover, there are further factors contributing to purchasing decisions as well. Rothschild and Gaidis (1981) have claimed that behavioral learning theories have great relevance to marketing and promotions because the learning process of responding to external events can affect consumer behavior. It is said that products are reminders of life experience and the memory consumers endow to the products results in brand equity and consumer loyalty. For example, in U.K., 73 percent of 25 to 34 years old...
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