The Purchase Tipping Point

by Paul Simister on August 11, 2011

The Purchase Tipping Point is not to be confused with the Profit Tipping Point, the name of my free report to help business owners make more profit.

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.

You’ll have experienced the purchase tipping point yourself many times.

Your internal dialogue will go something like this…

“That’s nice.

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 – 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?

That one.

[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 your influence the purchase tipping points:

  • The decision to buy a generic product or service
  • The decision to buy a specific product or service

I think 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 at either or both of the 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 be the specific choice.
    The wrong way – to concentrate on why the customer should buy from you.
  • after purchase tipping point 1 but before tipping point 2 (deciding to buy specific)
    The right way – to explain why your specific product is right
    The wrong way – 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.

You can know you need something and not want it.

You can want something and not need it so you can’t justify buying.

The Purchase Tipping Point & The Pain Of the Problem Versus The Pain & Gain Of The Solution

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 (withdrawal symptoms, increased tension and irritability, gaining weight) in doing it. people who continue to smoke haven’t been able to reach the decision tipping point and to stay the right side. In this case not buying and consuming a product.

I am overweight and 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 food and drink 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.

Paul Simister is the business strategy coach who helps business owners to differentiate their businesses and develop winning strategies. Get your free copy of the ebook The Six Steps Profit Formula.

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