The number one reason a customer who is ready and able to purchase does not buy your product or service is because they have been presented with the wrong options.

This is almost always because:

  1. The salesperson hasn’t asked the right questions
  2. The product or service is not what the customer wants or needs
  3. Something else

Did you know that your customers are only ever considering 6 elements of your product or service? Ever!!!

And did you know that only 2.5 of those 6 things matter most to them? Yup, two.point.five.

Here is an acronym to remember the 6 things you need to explore when learning what your customer needs:



Different products mean different things to buyers. Where a car buyer with 3 kids may desire a safe vehicle to transport their bundles of joy, a teenage boy may consider whether or not a pair of jeans will keep him safe from bullying and humiliation.


A Mazda Miata ND performs considerably different than a Dodge Viper on the racetrack. No different than a cheap dishwasher performs considerably different than an expensive one. Some might argue that Lululemon yoga pants perform differently than your Walmart special stretchy-pants.


How pretty is your thing? Does the color speak to your buyer? The shape? Is it their ‘brand’? Does it fit with the perception they have of themselves? Tight, sleek, loose, roomy, muscular, fast, masculine, feminine, and on, and on, and on.


Is your thing easy to use (convenient), soft in all the right places, intuitive by design, or the right size for your buyer’s needs? Does it come with all the bells and whistles they are looking for? Does it have bells and whistles they don’t care about, unnecessarily adding to the cost?


Not only is your thing affordable to purchase, but more importantly affordable to own? From fuel efficiency to the cost of maintenance and repairs in a vehicle to how much time and upkeep is necessary on a piece of clothing, the return on investment of money, energy, and time can all be deciding factors.


Some see durability as a subset of economy, and in a sense this is true. However, if a buyer were given 2 different items at the same price to choose from, and the only thing different was that one of the items would last longer, they would almost certainly choose the more durable.

Why 2.5?

As you reflect on purchases you’ve made over the years – clothes, homes, vehicles, toys – you can easily identify a couple of the 6 factors above that made you decide which option to choose. You bought the cheap inflatable pool because you knew it’d get trashed. You bought the nicer tires to be sure your family was as safe as possible. You upgraded your car to a bigger one when the second child arrived. You bought the engagement ring you knew she would like. You got that new pair of jeans that made you ass look smashing.

Not all 6 benefits matter on all purchases. As a buyer, there will always be a couple of key features that are non-negotiable for you and one feature that is a bit of a wildcard. Sure, we want it all, but when push comes to shove, we only use two elements to make a choice, and a third element to get the bits and pieces we want to be satisfied.

During a training session on this exact subject, a middle-aged salesman noticeably scoffed at the premise being presented. I stopped and asked him what had caught his ire. He said, “I could care less about safety and economy when I buy my cars. This is stupid”. Not surprisingly single, this gentleman loved his 2 seater sports cars and had a few toys in his garage.

So I said, “Then you would agree that your top priorities would be performance and appearance, and you would be flexible on comfort, like color and convenience options, given the opportunity to pick up a rare and distinctly cool car”? “Yes”, he said resoundingly.

“There would be no reason to explore safety and economy with you, right. It might even turn you off to the conversation if I tried to demonstrate these features to you?” Again, “YES”!

So do you see how you can quickly assess and determine what matters most to your customers if you had just 6 things that you zeroed in on to flush out what mattered most, then ONLY present those things that matter to the customer, rather than a shotgun approach?

Your customers are looking for a quick, simple, and comfortable buying experience. Expedite your questions to help them find the right products and services the FIRST time, so they can purchase with confidence.

Good selling.

PS – If you’ve done a bang-up job of getting selection right, and you have what they need, but they still aren’t buying, try this before they leave.