Why do consumers decide to buy? In the automobile industry, consumers shop for vehicles because of need, convenience and status among other reasons. Some consumers do lots of research and a thorough investigation before they decide to purchase, while others are basic impulse shoppers. There are other factors that affect the decision making process. If you work in the sales industry, you should be aware of these factors and understand how they can impact your sales strategy.
According to a business research survey compiled by iResearch Services.com, “Consumer behavior can be broadly classified as the decisions and actions that influence the purchasing behavior of a consumer. What drives consumers to choose a particular product with respect to others is a question which is often analyzed and studied by marketers. Most of the selection process involved in purchasing is based on emotions and reasoning.”
If you want to better understand what makes your customers tick, consider the following factors that often affect decision making.
The Economic Factor
This is of course quite obvious. The economic factor is the foundation of a purchasing decision. People can’t buy what they can’t afford no matter how badly they need it or want it. However, affordability is often a matter of perspective, which would explain why so many consumers use “creative” budgeting to get the things they really want. An interesting fact reported by the survey reveals that “a positive economic environment is known to make consumers more confident and willing to indulge in purchases irrespective of their personal financial liabilities.”
The Functional Factor
The functional factor pertains to needs. Decision making that is functional relates to logic and what is in the customer’s best interest. This is an important factor to keep in mind if your dealership offers special financing. According to Dealer Monthly, “A dealer must set the customer up for success and not for failure. It is much too easy to get a customer excited about a vehicle that is out of their price range and/or does not meet their needs. A dealer with a strong special finance program is able to weave logic into the equation and convince the customer to do what is in their best interest by taking time to learn and understand their needs first. “
The Psychological Factor and Personal Preferences
The psychological factor is all about what the customer wants. At the personal level, consumer behavior is influenced by various shades of likes, dislikes, priorities, morals and values. An effective advertising campaign appeals to emotion, or the psychological side of the sale. Image and status also tie into the psychological factor and having a nice car, home or expensive clothes is very important to some people – regardless of whether they can afford these things. From a marketing perspective, some of the most powerful commercials focus on image and not price.
Image, emotion, need, and affordability are all powerful forces that drive the decision to buy. If your sales people try to understand the rationale behind their customers’ decision to shop for a vehicle, they may be closer to making a sale.