The “considered purchase” vs the impulse buy

There are two core decision-making processes prospects go through before deciding to buy your product: the considered purchase and the impulse buy.

Most industrial products are considered purchases, while most though not all consumer products are impulse buy.

An impulse buy is you see a commercial for Sonic, crave a drink and a burger, and go out and get it – purely on impulse, because it looks good and you are hungry.

A considered purchase is your company is thinking of buying a heat exchange. Some of the steps and decision points in that buying process:

  • Do we really need a heat exchange or is there another way to solve the process problem?
  • If we need a heat exchanger, what type—plate, shell and tube, or one of about a dozen other designs?
  • What size or capacity do we need?
  • Once we settle on the type and size, what make and model should we buy?

And these decisions are not made by one person; a group or committee evaluates the available options and makes the purchase.

Therefore anyone who tells you that there is no difference in selling to consumers vs. selling to engineers …

And no difference in selling an inexpensive consumer product vs. a big-ticket piece of industrial equipment …

… is entirely off his or her rocker. Everyone in industry knows the buyers are different, the products are different, and the applications are as different. Buying a Lady Gaga CD or a pet goldfish is as different from buying a process control system as night is from day.

If you refuse to acknowledge this difference you are fooling yourself. If you wrote a beer ad the same as you would an ad for jet fuel, you are destined to fail.

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