No One Buys What They Need (& How to Sell Them What They REALLY Want)

06/16/2016 04:08 pm ET Updated Aug 22, 2016
Once people's basic needs are met, buying based on "need" goes out the window
©Dolgachov via Canva.com
Once people's basic needs are met, buying based on "need" goes out the window

When was the last time you bought something you needed?

(Besides toilet paper, duh...)

I want you to think about this. I mean, really think about it.

You didn’t buy that 5-pack of razors because you wanted to shave, even though have a perfectly good dollar-store collection in your closet...you bought them because you wanted silky, smooth, hair-free skin without nicks and scrapes.

You didn’t buy the gluten-free muffin because it was gluten-free, you bought it because you were craving something sweet that wouldn't upset your tum-tum (or the bodily functions south of the tum).

As a copywriter who specializes in writing sales copy, one of the biggest problems I see that trips people up when writing copy is that they’re trying to sell stuff that people need, rather than what they want.

Or - more specifically - what they desire.

People don't know what they need

It’s only natural - as humans, we inherently have people’s best interests at heart, so we’re always trying to help. We want our clients to get exactly what they need.

Problem is, most of the time they don’t know what they need, they only know what they want.

When it comes to buying behavior, humans are programmed illogically. We don’t purchase solely based on needs. We purchase based on emotions - how will buying that thing make us feel?

To bring this back to you and your business, as an online entrepreneur, you’re selling yourself. The products and services you offer and the experience of working with you are, in fact, extensions of you. People are buying YOU.

When you try to sell what people need, the ones you know you can help the best will ignore you. That’s because you’re not tapping into what they want - those deep-seated desires and unfulfilled cravings.

You become invisible, just another person trying to push “stuff” on people.

The purpose of sales copy isn’t just to promote the heck out of your products and services. Great copy helps the right people make the right decision for them at the right time. Trying to sell someone who doesn’t even know they’ve got a problem, is...a problem. And, your toughest nut to crack.

Tap into desires

When you tap into your dream client’s biggest desires (without sounding like a world class slimeball), you’ve got a direct line to their hearts and wallets.

Think about what it is you’re selling, whether it’s one-on-one services like business coaching or copywriting, or products like eCourses, etsy items, and so on.

What desire does it fulfill for your client? What do they want, more than anything else, that you can help them be or do?

Hands-down, every time people will buy what they want, crave, or desire.

They don’t want to shave, they want silky, smooth and sexy-feeling skin.

They don’t want a new mattress, they want to sleep like a baby.

They don’t want to work on their mindset, they want to have the guts to step up and amplify their game so they can grow their business.

See the difference?

Stop trying to sell what people need - start giving them what they want.

(Need more ideas and inspiration for things that people pay for? Download this free cheat sheet now.)

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS