By now, you’re likely familiar with my obsession with getting people to focus on more than the numbers when it comes to money. Exploring the social, cognitive, and emotional aspects of money is pretty much all I talk about, right?! 🙂
Sure, you may not go as far down the rabbit hole as me, but you’re here because you, too, find facets of this trifecta fascinating. After all, it is what influences a plethora of the financial choices and decisions you make.
Particularly with regard to “what, when, and why” you buy something.
That’s why I want you to keep in mind a recent purchase of your own as you read further.
Part of what sparked the focus of today’s piece is a recent purchase of my own. I treated myself to a luxury item that’s been on my “to-buy” list for awhile. And by “awhile,” I don’t mean days, weeks, or months…I mean years!
It took years for a variety of reasons, and it was worth the wait. It brings me such immense joy and satisfaction.
Plus, it’s a keeper piece that I intend to use for decades to come…like I did with what it replaced.
The factors that influenced my buying behavior and decision-making likely influenced whatever came to mind for you when I asked you to think about your recent purchase. Because these factors are just as present when something is considered a “high-ticket” purchase as when it is considered a “low-ticket” one.
I am speaking of:
Let’s delve into each…
What connections do you see about your buying behavior, in general, and your purchase, in particular, and your socioeconomic status? Does it represent what others might describe as a status symbol? How do you feel about that?
I ask because the income you earn, the wealth you have, where you live, what you buy and other aspects of your lifestyle, heck, even the debt you’re able to carry say something about your socioeconomic status. It may not tell the whole story, but it certainly provides a glimpse of it.
My purchase tells a bit of my story, including that I like nice, luxurious, sometimes, indulgent things. Always have.
But, I am also fiscally conservative – by nurture, nature, and necessity.
I was raised to prioritize savings and carry little to no debt.
I’m an entrepreneur. I’m single. I am solely responsible for every financial aspect of my life and business.
I saved for and bought this item after having met several financial goals. Plus, I considered my current and projected cashflow.
I took all of these factors into consideration because I wanted to do everything in my power to avoid purchasing something that could possibly jeopardize my financial security. Now, or in the future.
When you think about your purchase, what effect, if any, does it have on your sense of security?
Is your purchase stress-free like mine? Or, is it prompting a bit of dread or panic?
Planning and being patient with regard to the timing of my purchase is what allowed this transaction to be filled with joy and excitement. And no financial or emotional stress!
There is no worry, anxiety, or second-guessing as to whether this purchase will affect my capacity to meet current or upcoming expenses.
I have a deep sense of pride about my purchase. Not simply because I now own something I’ve wanted for quite some time. It’s that, AND the satisfaction of achieving what made it possible.
My heart leaps with absolute delight when I reflect on how intentional and strategic I have been.
You see, this wasn’t just about me incrementally saving and paying down debt; this purchase is also a reflection of me making different and incremental choices about my business, how I run it, what I offer, and how I price my services.
What about your purchase (and more) are you finding satisfying?
There are various ways to measure success.
Money is one metric. Achieving goals is another. Stretching beyond my comfort zone at times is yet another.
What does success represent via your purchase?
You and I Have This in Common
I realize you may not unpack your purchases – whether the price tag is large or small (and even this is relative) – through the lens of these five factors as I have shared herein. Yet, these factors (or five S’s) are ever-present.
Because they tap into the social, cognitive, and emotional aspects of money.
For me. For you. For everyone.
And as you might imagine, I have a few reasons for sharing my story and giving you a glimpse into my buying behavior:
For starters: I wanted to put a spotlight on the silent factors that have a strong impact on how you buy, what you buy, when, and the price you’re willing to pay (for the item itself and what it took to make it so).
Second: Whatever you discover from looking at your most recent purchase – through the lens of status, security, stress, satisfaction and success – provides you with insight about the relationship you had with money, the one you have with it currently, and the aspirations of the one you want to have. Remember, everything evolves.
Third: Numerically, the price you pay is the same as the price someone charges. And vice versa, if you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner. Likewise, what has a strong impact on the price you’ll pay are the same factors for the price you’ll charge.
That’s why I want today’s piece to serve as a flashing yellow light when it comes to pricing your offers.
Yes, being aware of how you approach buying decisions is beneficial for your own self-awareness.
It is also a reminder that your prospect, client, or customer is making decisions through similar filters.
You can do research or make some fairly informed presumptions about these factors and how they show up for your people.
But the one thing you absolutely must guard against is the propensity:
- To behave as if your people make purchasing decisions like you.
- To prioritize the five S’s as if the manner for others is akin to your approach. (For example, I chose the order above because it mapped well with the arc of my story.)
When you fail to guard against these tendencies and you assume the person buying from you shares a similar buying profile as you, you potentially do two things – even if unwittingly. You:
- Take away (or minimize) their agency to make the buying choice that is best for them;
- Don’t position your offers along the spectrum you want; and
- Run the risk of thwarting your reach, impact, and sales.
None of which is healthy for you or your business – in the short or long-term.
p.s. Want to explore today’s topic in more depth, consider joining us for the next Pricing Made HumanⓇ masterclass.