#57: Why Customers Buy (3 Tactical Tips)

#57: Why Customers Buy (3 Tactical Tips)

Read Time: 3 min

Today, I will discuss how and why prospects come to the decision to move forward. These three things must be conveyed during the customer’s buying journey.

The goal is to understand these 3 pieces of information and to deliver this experience through your sales process.

The illusion that you will say or show them something in your product that will blow them away and lead to the sale is silly. Yes, you might get lucky once in a blue moon, but to try and land sales in a repeatable way it’s not happening.

The fact is that the amount of money startups raise in their Seed and Series A rounds is inversely correlated with success.

~ Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures)

There are 3 reasons prospects buy. Let’s unpack each.

1. Competence

Prospects need to feel assured that you have the skills, knowledge, and capability to deliver on their needs. Competence is demonstrated through a fleshed-out sales process and an understanding of the product, the market, and the prospect's specific use cases.

The psychology behind why it works:

  • Trust Building: Competence creates trust because it reassures the buyer that you understand their use cases and have a deep understanding of how to solve them.

  • Reducing Risk: Prospects evaluate products in various ways, including risk. Competency helps reduce the buyer's perceived risk of making a decision. When a buyer sees that you understand the intricacies of your product and how it addresses their needs, they feel more confident about making a purchase.

  • Cognitive Ease: Competence creates cognitive ease. When information is presented clearly and accurately, it’s easier for buyers to process and trust it.

2. Authority

Authority is a mix of industry/product knowledge, experience, and position. It is the perception that you understand the systemic problems that your ICP struggles with and have built something that solves them. Most founders are evangelists, and their excitement about what they built gets conveyed to the prospect, but at scale, it is not enough to move the needle. The goal is to take what lives in your head and turn it into a repeatable process that delivers on these three points.

The psychology behind why it works:

  • Social Proof: Authority is often established through social proof. When others recognize you as an expert, prospects are more likely to follow suit. This is reinforced through case studies, testimonials, and logos you’ve closed. You can leverage your work experience and VC partners if you don't have those.

  • Decision Simplification: Buyers often use authority as a shortcut to decision-making. If you are perceived as an authority (someone they believe is an expert), they are more likely to defer to your recommendations and feel confident in their decision.

  • An example of this would be when I speak with a founder who is interested in working with Rampd. After speaking with me for 10 minutes, they get a sense that I have a good idea of what I’m talking about (competency). They’ve probably heard or read about us through other founder’s experiences (social proof). And they know we deliver results as we have the track record and case studies to support our results (expectations).

3. Expectations

Beyond competence and authority, buyers need to believe that you can deliver on the promised results. This is the idea of running a paid POC. You provide them with an offer that is impossible to refuse. Where you take on 100% of the risk, and they have all the upside. This conveys conviction, and once you deliver, it’s very difficult for them not to move forward.

The psychology behind why it works:

  • Risk Reduction and Trust: Taking on all the risk and offering a win-win scenario builds trust and lowers the buyer’s perceived risk, making engaging much easier.

  • Reciprocity and Commitment: When you offer a risk-free POC, the buyer is “kind of” obligated to reciprocate and follow through. You’re leveraging the psychological principles of reciprocity and commitment.

As you evolve and grow into the role of CEO, you are not in the company-building business. You are in the people-building business. People build businesses.

With founder-led sales, you are not in the business of selling. You are in the business of solving. Solving problems. To solve a problem, you must identify it first and show them a way out. Selling is what I constantly hear early founders doing. Selling is feature dumping on your product. Don’t do this. This is why you get ghosted and deals are not closing — predictably. Instead, focus on conveying competency and authority and delivering expectations. This is done through a process. If you don’t have a process, we can help.

That’s it for today!

See you all next week.


P.S. If finding PMF and scaling to $1M in ARR through founder-led sales is on your radar, book a call with me here

💡 How We Can Help

Founder Led Sales Coaching: Teaching founders how to close their first million in revenue & establish PMF.

Self-Service / DIY:  Learn and implement step-by-step the playbook we use to scale over 350+ founding teams, ideally for bootstrapped startups.

Rampd Recruiting: Scale your sales motion with top SDR, BDRs, and AEs to 10M ARR and beyond.

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