• Social Studies Blog. How to succeed in social business.
  • Individuals’ Self-Interest (Not Company-Interest) Governs Purchase Decisions

    Five years ago Paul Greenberg, President of The 56 Group, learned a powerful business lesson from a customer.

    “The first thing you’re going to deal with at a company is always the politics,” said Greenberg quoting the customer who was working at a very large enterprise. “Every person you’re ever going to meet is going to have some agenda that you’re going to have to deal with…Figure out a way to deal with the agenda, or push it aside.”

    Greenberg admits this advice was monstrously helpful as he did just that. He either dealt with the agenda or pushed it aside.

    “You’re not selling to the customer for the benefit of the company. You’re selling to the customer for the benefit of the company and that individual – meaning there has to be an outcome that the individual sees as beneficial for themselves.”

    Self-interest governs decisions, even purchase decisions on behalf of the company. How do you figure out what’s on someone’s personal agenda? Just ask them, said Greenberg. What do you want? What do you need?

    Smart salesmen know that you don’t sell features, you sell outcomes. A really successful salesman sells outcomes for the company and the individual.

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    About David Spark

    More than fifteen years in tech journalism in radio, TV, print, and online. Plus ten years experience in advertising. Combined the two to launch Spark Media Solutions, a media production and consulting firm that offers custom publishing/branded journalism/content marketing (it's all the same thing).


    1. Awesome insight into customer behavior.

    2. nice & very informative piece on purchase decisions

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