Impulse Buying – How to Make the Sale

Impulse Buying

If you’ve ever gone into a store to buy something and came out with that and more you may have experienced an impulse buy! Chances are REALLY good you’ve done this because 70% of people in a recent survey said they occasionally purchased items they didn’t need or plan to buy, and another 15% said they did it frequently. Impulse buying and impulse buyers are great, they practically sell themselves.  However, I’ve seen good sales people, miss opportunities because they didn’t recognize and respond properly to an impulsive buyer.

On today’s show discover:

  • … why people buy impulsively;
  • … how to tell if you’re talking with an impulse buyer;
  • … and the best way to approach an impulse buyer to make the sale.

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Impulse Buying Why do people do it?

So why do people buy impulsively? Well there’s been a lot of discussion about why people buy but one simple and popular formula is that people buy to avoid pain or heighten pleasure. If it’s easy for them to get what they want from your product chances are they’ll buy it. This is true of all buyers including impulse buyers who are very, impulsive.

Impulse buyers hear about something, or something gets their attention and they have to have it.

In his 1987 paper “The buying Impulse”, Dennis Rook defined Impulse buying as…a sudden, often powerful and persistent urge to buy something immediately. – Curated from Virgin.Com

Impulse buyers don’t want to dwell on details and research. They’ve seen the product, recognized a problem it solves and voila they want it. They’re operating on inertia and they’re caught up in the moment.

They’re excited, in fact research has shown that…

“…Excitement is a major factor when it comes to sudden purchases. In another survey, about half of all impulsive shoppers said they had made impulse purchases while in an excited state of mind.” – Curated from

How Can You Tell If You’re Talking with an Impulsive Buyer?

Impulse Buyers:

  • a young impulsive buyer in trainingImpulse buyers are generally excited, and you can tell…you’ll hear it in their voice and see it in their face.
  • They’ll ask questions about how soon they can get it, what colors it comes in, what type of payment you accept and provide other strong positive buying signals.
  • They may be less interested in details about the product than other types of buyers
  • They may also be very focused on completing the transaction because they can’t wait…they’re looking for immediate gratification

A word of caution. Even when you recognize that you’re working with an impulse buyer it’s important to follow the sales process. Cutting corners, even with an impulse buyer, will usually end poorly.

Sure you may not need to go as deep into the features and benefits as you would with an analytical buyer but you still need to establish personal value and move through the sales process before you close.

Dos and Don’ts for Selling to an Impulsive Buyer

DO match their level of excitement (sincerely).

If you’re excited too they’re more likely to maintain their enthusiasm and buy!

Don’t Over-sell

Don’t get bogged down in details or try to “over-sell them” this can kill the momentum and lower their enthusiasm.

DO Use a “Confirmation and Invitation”

After your close use a confirmation and invitation to help reduce feelings of buyer’s remorse. (which is very common for impulse buyers)

Here’s an example of a confirmation and invitation where we’re confirming the customer made a great decision and inviting them to let us know how everything worked out for them.

“Tim, you made a great decision today and I know you’re going to love your new XYZ. Be sure to give us a call back and let us know how you’re doing with it!”

By saying “you made a great decision today and I know you’re going to love your new XYZ” you’re helping to confirm and validate Tim’s buying decision. It’ll help prevent him from second guessing himself or feeling buyer’s remorse. By saying “be sure to give us a call back…” you’re communicating confidence which again reinforces that he made the right decision.

People buy for very similar reasons but they do it in a variety of different ways. Impulsive buyers are excited, focused and need your help to guide them through the process. Remember to match their level of excitement and reinforce their decision after you close.

Today’s One Two Punch:

Adjust to Your Buyer to Make More Sales

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