Why do People Buy?

Basically, customers buy for one of these two reasons:

– For obtaining a final benefit.

– To avoid a loss.

In general, clients do not see any special reason to buy from you, unless, with their purchase, they achieve a benefit they do not have yet or avoid the loss of something they now own.

Within these two reasons why people buy, the second weighs more, that is to say, that people act more swiftly before the possibility of losing something that is already theirs than to accept risks on potential but uncertain benefits.

Frequently, people buy to meet their needs and solve their problems, not yours. Your success in the sale will depend on the capacity you have to sensitize and know how to capture the needs of the Clients.

People buy to meet their needs and solve their problems.


The well-known psychologist Abraham H. Maslow, back in 1943, launched into the world a theory that said:

“Human beings are animals perpetually desiring, whose needs are psychological and social.”

I would not have expressed it better myself. Jokes aside, I’ll explain what he’s trying to tell us.

Mr. Maslow divides the needs of people into five large groups. These needs have a certain priority and go in ascending order. At the base of the pyramid are the most basic needs of the human race, while at the top are the most idealistic. Let’s analyze each of them starting with the most basic.

1. Physiological need.

In this category we could place those people whose philosophy of life can be summarized in this sentence: “I want to live today”. Simplifying the question a lot, it could be said that its main concern is to eat, drink, reproduce and have a roof where to live and protect what is theirs.

Leon Tolstoy once said:

“It is difficult for an empty bag to remain standing. People who are hungry do not attend concerts or exhibitions. “

2. Need for security.

Having overcome the first step of the pyramid, we find that, not only must we protect what we have, but we also need family stability. That is, we look for SECURITY, we think about tomorrow. In this step you look for answers to questions like …

What will become of me and my family in a few years?
Where will my children study?

These first two needs are called PRIMARY.

3. Social need.

Once the first two steps have been overcome, we find the need to relate to beings of the same species and social condition. Need for love, affection and, above all, acceptance of the social group to which one belongs.

4. Need of the ego.

Man needs to flatter his ego in front of others. For this purpose, it usually uses external signs that demonstrate its social status. For example, gold ornaments, colorful cars, etc.

5. Need for self-realization.

This is the last of the needs of the human race according to Mr. Maslow. It is the need to satisfy all aspirations by itself. In a word, do what you are best prepared for.

People are constantly moving through the pyramid of needs. The fact of having reached the top does not mean that the rest of them are forgotten. Often a small incident is capable of causing a rapid shift to another lower scale or, sometimes, to the very bottom of the pyramid.

An example.

John is a very considerate architect. It has reached the top. It has triumphed. It has a nice house, three sports cars, service staff that serves his mansion, etc. In a word, it is self-realized. One day he receives a notification from the bank informing him that his personal account shows an overdraft of 5,000 Euros. Suddenly he is worried not because of his self-realization, but because of his need for esteem and social position. What will they think of him in his Club if they return the heel he gave them yesterday? Or what will your usual providers think when they do not have funds with which to respond to their most immediate payments? John has fallen in the scale of his needs.

Suppose you can not fix your problem and the bank seizes and auctions your assets. How will he live from that moment? Now he is worried about his safety. If this situation is not resolved soon, our friend John can reach the bottom of the scale of human needs. In just a short space of time, a fully self-realized person can descend to the bottom of the needs structure, reaching the lowest level of the needs.