The Purchase Tipping Point refers to the buying decision and how it tips from uncertainty about which is the best choice to certainty that you have made the right decision.
It’s not to be confused with the Profit Tipping Point, the name of my free report to help business owners make more profit.
You’ll have experienced the purchase tipping point yourself many times and there are two different decisions.
- The decision to buy something.
- The decision to buy the particular item.
Your internal dialogue will go something like this…
So is that.
I can’t afford both and I probably shouldn’t buy either.
But I deserve a treat.
Then one of
- I’ve done very well recently
- I’ve worked hard this week
- I have resisted temptation and not bought anything for ages
- I’m feeling down and I need cheering up
- I really need it – my current one is old, shabby, broken or worn out
Which should I buy?
[Notice the first purchase tipping point decision has been passed because you’ve gone from not buying to deciding to buy something]
I really like both.
That one’s more practical but the other is so stylish.
I wish I could buy both.
But I can’t. I mustn’t.
Come on which do you want most?
[This is the second purchase tipping point as you move from a generic purchase decision to a specific one.
How Do You Influence The Purchase Decision?
I’m planning to write a lot more in my blog about how you influence the purchase tipping points:
- The decision to buy a generic product or service
- The decision to buy a specific product or service
I believe not looking through the customer’s eyes is a common failing in many marketing and sales books and courses. I’ve argued for a long time that your job is to make it easy for a customer to buy.
It may seem obvious but when you look back at your own buying, you’ll see how often businesses stand in the way of you buying and stop you from tipping positively at either or both of these purchase tipping points.
The Purchase Tipping Point & Mistakes In Communication
One thing businesses are very bad at is not understanding where you are in your buying cycle as a potential customer. This means you get a mismatch in communication.
There are only four combinations – two right and two wrong.
- Before purchase tipping point 1 (deciding to buy generic)
The right way – to explain why a generic purchase is right and lay the groundwork for why you should make a specific choice.
The wrong way is to concentrate on why the customer should buy from you. The customer isn’t ready to be sold, just helped to make the initial tipping point decision.
- After purchase tipping point 1 but before tipping point 2 (deciding to buy a specific item.)
The right way is to explain why your specific product is right for them and is different and better than those products available from competitors.
The wrong way is to explain why buying the generic product is the sensible thing to do.
The Purchase Tipping Point & Emotional & Logical Reasons To Buy
The idea of the purchase tipping point can also be applied to the emotional and logical reasons for buying. You can see this in my sample of internal dialogue above.
To make the purchasing decision, you want ticks for both logic and emotion.
You can know you need something and not want it.
You can want something and not need it.
Either way, you can find that you can’t justify buying.
The Purchase Tipping Point & The Pain Of the Problem Versus The Pain & Gain Of The Solution
Pain and the desire to reduce or avoid pain motivates you to make decisions but there is also pain involved with buying solutions to the underlying problems.
I don’t smoke but it’s well established that smoking is bad for you so the logical thing is to give up. But there is pain involved in quitting (withdrawal symptoms, increased tension and irritability, gaining weight). People who continue to smoke haven’t been able to reach the decision tipping point and to stay on the right side. In this case not smoking is considered more painful than smoking and suffering the high risk of serious health problems in the long term future.
I am overweight and, after losing a few kgs, it seems to be creeping back up. Not as high as it was before I was ill, so I still have plenty of clothes to wear. I’d like to lose weight but I haven’t hit the decision tipping point where my exercise goes up and my calorie consumption goes down. Just like in the internal dialogue above, I find myself thinking “I’ve been a good boy. I deserve a treat” and I have another chocolate bar.
Have you noticed that you have this internal dialogue as you work your way through the two tipping point decisions involved in buying? Have you noticed how some companies and sales people help you “tip positively” towards making the buying decision whilst others seem to do their best to get in the way?
Secondly, if you’re selling a product or service, have you identified ways that you can;
- Help your customers to tip towards making a buying decision?
- Identified ways that you might get in the way and then put together an action plan to stop these things happening?
In particular, pay attention to the understanding where the customer is in his or her buying journey and make sure that you are selling the generic product when you need and educating the customer on choosing their appropriate buying criteria and then selling your specific product as different and better than your competitors.