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Why People Don't Buy Things: Five Five Proven Steps To Connect With Your Customers And Dramatically Improve Your Sales [Paperback]

Harry Washburn , Kim Wallace
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 7, 2000
Selling can be a science as well as an art, and offering the right product at the right price is only the starting point. The authors explore the thought processes potential buyers go through every time they consider making a purchase. This guide offers a systematic approach to understanding customers' motivations and tailoring the entire sales strategy to fit the customers' buying path. By teaching salespeople how to recognize different buying profiles, this book offers strategies and tactics to break out of non-productive patterns, forge new relationships, and turn promising prospects into repeat customers.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Harry Washburn and Kim Wallace, principals in a firm specializing in sales and marketing research, believe salespeople are most successful when they can read customers' true motivations and tailor subsequent strategies to fit their unique needs. Based on 20 years' experience with companies like AT&T, IBM, and Polaroid, they've developed a method for replacing traditionally combative sales techniques with ones that encourage a cooperative decision-making process. In Why People Don't Buy Things, they explain how to find each customer's "buying path" by determining his or her specific "buying profile," which they classify as either Commander, Thinker, or Visualizer--and then adjusting arguments, language, and demonstrations to match them. The result, they contend, will help salespeople overcome stumbling blocks that regularly drive possible business away before a sale is consummated.
As any experienced salesman knows, if an individual or group prospect has substantial objections to buying from you that are not smoked out and resolved in your favor, you will lose the sale.... Why people don't buy things is as important a factor in individual and group purchasing decisions as why they do buy things.
--Howard Rothman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Forty years ago Louis Cheskin helped popularize the use of motivation research in marketing with his now classic Why People Buy. Washburn and Wallace look at the other side of the coin to analyze customer objections, and they provide techniques to overcome them. The authors met when they were vice presidents at New England's largest advertising agency, and they left that firm in 1976 to start their own marketing company specializing in consulting, sales, and marketing research. Over the years, they have developed such tools as ThoughtScan, the ArgumentAudit, and Decision Path Analysis. Here they explain how these work and show how to apply them. Potential buyers fit three different profiles, argue Washburn and Wallace. They show how to recognize "commanders, thinkers, and visualizers," and using real-life examples, they offer strategies for countering resistance in each case. David Rouse --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
(21)
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top customer reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book gives 3 profiles of potential buyers and what they are most interested in when thinking about purchasing something.
In NLP you have a similar process in which you match how you speak to them with how they process thoughts.
In this book they are categorized as The Commamder, the Thinker or the Visualizer.
In NLP your potential customers are classified as visual, hearing or emotional dominate processing types of people.
You would match your response to something like I see what you mean or that's the way I see it to a visual person.
To a hearing dominate person you would say I hear what you are saying or simply I heard that and nod in agreement with them.
With an emotional person you would reply with that's exactly how I feel too or I feel the same way you do.
The ways to adjust your selling response to emphasize what this book's classifications are most interested in are listed.
There are other helpful ideas but you get the gist of what the book is about.
Well worth studying even if you find that some of the authors' points on certain buyers priorities might not match your own personal experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Blueprint to Build Word of Web March 20, 2017
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When it comes to brilliant yet simple ways to view the buyer, this book brings truly actionable insight. Based on the input of so many it present a timeless blueprint to emotionally pursue buyers who may be commanders, thinkers or visualizers. With the Internet of Things having that ability to touch individuals through trigger words and images has become required not optional. I recommend it to marketing, sales and product management team members.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Alex
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you've ever worked in sales, you know that the majority of prospects in your sales funnel do not end up purchasing your product or service. This book will clearly explain why FROM THE PROSPECT'S POINT OF VIEW.

This book will allow you to:
1) quickly identify which of the three psychological profiles (i.e. commander, thinker, visualizer) your prospect belongs to,
2) which of the 5 steps in the purchasing process your prospect is currently at,
3) and know exactly which words/phrases you have to use while speaking with your prospect in order to match his/her psychological profile and GET YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS IN THE WAY THAT THEY WANT TO HEAR IT.

Regardless of what year it is or what the latest technology trends are, people are still people, and the basic psychology and purchasing process described in this book will remain at the core of how people make purchasing decisions.

A must read for anyone in sales, marketing, or advertising.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Tool February 28, 2012
By Ulysses
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What I loved most about this book is the author's use of NLP. It works. They seperate propspects into three distinct catagories.
1. Commanders
2. Thinkers
3. Visualizers

Once you have determined which of the three your prospect is you can tailor your presentation to what works for them. E.G, a Commander would respond to the fact that your company has been in business for 75 years, wheras a Thinker would not respond as well to his fact.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars September 3, 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good price
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read October 25, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good read .. Nice to look back to the basic reading getting to the point . Don't need to tak notes you will not forget what you read and will be able to take action right away
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Marketing Classic is Right for the Digital Age July 16, 2014
Format:Paperback
"Why People Don't Buy Things, is on the top shelf of my library of professional marketing books. When I want to help one of my client's reach the right people, using the right medium with the right message, I refer to this evergreen by marketing gurus Kim Wallace and Harry Washburn.

"Why People Don't Buy Things" is an "evergreen" publication. It's been printed in four languages. The ideas and selling tips apply directly to the digital age, not just conventional one-on-one sales. This is more important than ever now that consumers worldwide have taken control of the buying process thanks to the Internet.

According to "Why People Don't Buy Things", the key is still selling to people the way they want to buy, not the way you want to sell them: 1) Know where your prospect is on the buying path (first timer, repeat buyer, evaluating buying options, determining where to buy and evaluating price). 2) What's their buying modality (Thinker, Visualizer or Commander)? and 3) Sell to them the way they want to buy using proven selling arguments which work best with their primary modality. "Trigger" words help to reinforce key points.

Thinkers don't want to hear that you're product is # 1 because they'll think you're fat and lazy, resting on your laurels. They want logic. Visualizers don't want to know the logic behind it. They want to see how it's quick and easy to use. Commanders want to know who your big name clients are, not the product's aesthetics/design or ease of use.

In addition to the book Wallace and Washburn now have a cool Buying Quiz at www.wallacewashburn.com. It's like the Myers Briggs of marketing. You get to see how you score by modality type versus over 75 famous people. Check it out.

Dick Pirozzolo
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review February 17, 2011
By HPU2009
Format:Paperback
Why People Don't Buy Things: 5 Proven Steps to Connect with Your Customers and Dramatically Increase Your Sales
Harry Washburn & Kim Wallace

Harry Washburn and Kim Wallace co-founded Wallace & Washburn, Inc., over twenty years ago. The Boston based firm specializes in sales and marketing research, consulting and training services. Washburn teaches at Harvard University's Extension School and Wallace teaches Radcliffe Seminars.

Why People Don't Buy Things offers interesting perspective for anyone trying to increase sales. The book opens with a fascinating description of the three different buying categories all people fit into. According to Washburn and Wallace there are three different buyer profiles the commander, the thinker and the visualizer. It is imperative to be able to distinguish between all three types. The book provides interesting real-life examples concerning how to determine a buyer's profile. The commander profile can be described as a take-charge individual concerned with action and leadership. The thinker is very analytical and uses a great deal of logic and reasoning to arrive at a buying decision and the visualizer likes immediate results and responds to visual cosmetic appearances.

The 5 proven steps to connect with your customers and dramatically increase your sales center around an acrostic named DREAM. The D is the DO step. The Do step requires making the problem known. Most people don't buy your product because they are unaware of their need for it. The DO step requires action to show people why they need what you are selling. The R in DREAM stands for REPEAT step. The REPEAT step places the focus on repeat business. In this step it is important to find any competitors and focus on their competitive advantages.
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