What drives people to make purchasing decisions?
I’m Scott Grates, and in this episode I’ll uncover the key to understanding the emotional nature of purchasing decisions and how insurance agents can leverage it for their customer experience.
What drives people to make purchasing decisions? Although we often convince ourselves that our choices are rooted in logic, the truth is that emotions play a far greater role than we realize.
Companies invest astronomical sums of money in strategic advertising and product placements precisely because they understand the power of forging an emotional connection with potential buyers.
Are LeBron James’ sneakers truly superior to other brands? Does James Bond’s wristwatch possess unmatched time telling ability? And what about Matthew McConaughey’s car? Is it truly worth an extra $25,000 compared to a different brand new vehicle on the market?
The answers to these questions reside within the emotional realm of each consumer.
Deep down, we all yearn to feel loved, desired, and special. We gravitate towards material possessions that offer instant gratification to these emotional needs. My LeBrons may not make me jump higher, but they undeniably make me look cooler. And while I may lack Matthew McConaughey’s, cool demeanor… all right, all right, all right… southern charm, cruising in my new Lincoln, it makes me feel like I possess those very qualities. Driving slow windows down, wind, gently going through my hair.
Still skeptical? Take a peek at your recent bank or credit card statement. What are the last five non-essential purchases that you made? Were these choices primarily based on being the cheapest or the most logical options?
Or did your buying decisions stem from how well a product or service satisfied an emotional need of yours?
As insurance producers, we offer products that protect individuals in the face of unexpected events. Traditionally, we’ve illustrated the need for our products by emphasizing the logical reasons for their purchase. However, this per this approach contradicts the very essence of how people make buying decisions.
After all, we are selling a promise, a notion that lacks the hipness, sexiness, or excitement typically associated with a purchase.
Nobody buys insurance products eagerly brags to their friends or showcases them on social media or at office gatherings. While the policies may vary slightly from one insurance company to another, the fundamental promises that they make are relatively similar. Given this reality, what is the one thing that we do genuinely have to sell?
A promise is only as strong as the person who makes it. People buy from individuals they genuinely like and trust. These are the emotions we must evoke from our prospects. If we are to triumph over price-based competition, people want to do business with someone who truly understands them, someone who uplifts their self-esteem and someone they can rely on. When life takes an unexpected turn, when individuals are ready to invest in a promise, they will choose someone who is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and fully comprehends their unique circumstances. Even if it means paying an extra $20 per month compared to a competitor who fails to check those crucial boxes, it’s money well spent.
So the question remains, are you that person for your customers and prospects?
I’m willing to wager that you believe you are. But how can you truly know the answer lies in scrutinizing your competition and more importantly, yourself?
To continuously improve and establish yourself as a leader in this industry, you must constantly analyze both your own performance and that of your competitors.
This process is no different from the meticulous preparations undertaken by professional sports teams before a game. Just as teams have scouts who study their adversaries and players who review game films to exploit weaknesses, it’s time for you to do the same.
Enlist the help of a friend or family member to engage in a bit of secret shopping by calling competing insurance agencies. Provide them with 10 essential questions to answer.
Once they’ve explored the competition, ask them to call your agency and answer the same questions based on their experience.
Consider the exterior of the agency. Was it clean, professional, inviting? And what about the interior? Was it well lit, clean, have a pleasant scent? Or how were they greeted? Did they feel like family? Or was it an inconvenience?
Take note of gratitude, rapport, building, and whether they divided right into to the business or engaged into small talk.
Did they explain the quoting process upfront or assume that you understood it?
Did they share credibility builders such as their mission statement, value statement, why their agency stands as the best option for insurance protection?
How effectively did they explain their products and services?
Did they employ needs analysis throughout the questions?
Captivating stories that illustrate how insurance truly works?
Or did they just simply offer a a bland apples to apples comparison?
Was the interaction solely centered around price, or did they strive to provide you with what you genuinely needed?
And finally, did they encourage you to take action, or did they just simply leave you with some numbers to ponder?
How did you feel at the end of the experience?
Remember, people make buying decisions based on emotions, not logic. We may provide a logical product, but attempting to sell it in a purely logical manner won’t give you this success that you’re looking for.
Ultimately, we’re selling a promise, and more importantly, we’re selling ourselves. People buy from individuals they like, they trust and they respect. To establish yourself as superior to your competition, you need to gain insight into their customer experience, how it looks, how it feels, how it sounds, and then use that information to shape your own personal experience, continuously striving to enhance and refine it.
Continuous self-improvement begins with an unrelenting self-analysis and studying the quote unquote game films.
It’s time to embark on this journey of self-discovery.