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Why People Buy

Why People Buy

Graphic: Title: WHY PEOPLE BUY with photo of Mark S A Smith

What is the secret motivational reason people make a purchase?  Does your message match the reason they would buy your product or service?

Radio DJ…Electrical Engineering School…Sales

Mark S A Smith leads the Executive Strategy Skillset Summit. A 36-year veteran of the business world, running his own company for 26 years, he works with companies large and small to achieve their sales and marketing goals.

Mark designs and implements leadership, sales, marketing, customer acquisition and client conversion systems that find and recruit willing buyers for products and services ranging from common every-day to high-end unique and disruptive.

Mark is the author of 14 popular books and sales guides and has authored more than 400 magazine articles. He is a genuine Guerrilla Marketing guru, co-authoring three books with Jay Conrad Levinson, and is a certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach.

A renaissance man with many talents, Mark is passionate about leadership, team building, teamwork, sales, and marketing.

Website: https://bijaco.com/

Twitter: @marksasmith

LinkedIn: Mark S A Smith

Listen to the podcast here:

Read Along as Karla and Mark discuss Why People Buy, Balance and much more

Karla Nelson: And welcome to the people catalyst podcast Mark S. A. Smith.

Mark S A Smith: Thank you very much, Karla. It’s a delight to be here let’s talk about something that catalyzes people into wherever they want to go.

Karla Nelson: Well, there you go the. The People Catalysts podcast yeah for sure, so you know share with us a little bit, Mark, about your you know entrepreneurial background and what you’ve done, and you know what brought you to the place you’re at today.

Mark S A Smith: Well let’s start with that. Let’s start with where we are, then we might do a little quick rewind. I’m a business growth strategist and I work with executives to plot an unstoppable path to the future along the way I’ve written 14 books, working on number 15 and number 16 as we are speaking. Yes, it means I have no life.

Karla Nelson: That’s amazing!

Mark S A Smith: It just happens to be a skill. It’s a skill. That’s all there is to it.  It’s a skill I’ve developed over the decades of being able to communicate in unique ways that people can understand. And what got me here was a series of interesting events. I loved radio, you can tell I got a radio voice. It was years and years in radio got a degree in radio mass media and then I discovered can make way more money.

Karla Nelson: You were a DJ for a while.

Mark S A Smith: Why was I was a disc jockey for five years and really enjoyed it, but I found I can make way more money with my head and the transmitter my foot on the Tower than I could behind the microphone. And well it’s fun to be a DJ it’s more fun to be well paid.

Karla Nelson: Yeah,.and I love um you know, anyone who is listened and or read the book Never Split the Difference, he talks about get in this is serious stuff right whether. You know he’s an FBI guy that.

Mark S A Smith: hostage negotiator.

Karla Nelson: yeah and a hostage negotiator, and he talks about the late night, DJ voice and how important that piece of the negotiation is so.

Mark S A Smith: That’s right, yeah. He talks about you don’t want to go to jail, do you? You don’t want to die today that’s not on your list of things to do, are you? So that’s the that was his approach, it was the relaxed I get where you’re coming from I’m feeling it Chris Voss is just fantastic conversation.

Karla Nelson: I agree. So Okay, so you go from DJ to entrepreneurs,

Mark S A Smith: I actually went to I went to engineering school got a degree in electrical engineering, because I thought I could make a lot of money playing antenna theory guy. In the radio station world and found out that wasn’t really what I wanted to play. But I did get hired as a sales guy by Hewlett Packard back in the days when they hired engineers to sell their technology to other engineers and that’s really when things kind of went sideways.

And it was a mess, you know it was absolutely a mess, because I had no idea how to sell. None whatsoever. So I made all the mistakes in the book. And learned a lot of things along the way, that I’ve been able to help people bring disruptive technology to the world.in new and powerful ways. So that’s really what I’ve been doing over the past coming up on 40 years of this. Helping people sell disruptive ideas and disruptive technology.

Karla Nelson: love that.

Mark S A Smith: and

Karla Nelson: Share with us like you know, one example of this disruptive technology, because I think you know we’ve seen it, like, over the last, like you said, 40 years. You know, something that has completely changed. The way we look at the world.

Mark S A Smith: Well we’re doing it right now it’s called Zoom. Teleconferencing has radically changed the world. It’s been around for a long time 1964. AT&T had the telephone the video phone 1964 they had a video phone, and it didn’t take, it took this insane experience we’ve gone through first.  First, to normalize the fact that we can actually do business remotely. that’s disruptive technology.

Karla Nelson: You know what’s hilarious about this, mark? Is the fact that I’ve been trying to talk people into doing this for so long, it was only since we hit COVID it was. Like you know pressed upon you, because you look at the law of diffusion of innovations right. And you know they came about that information from 110 years of marketing research about how people adopt new ideas. And it just got pressed upon us all of a sudden and then all. Now people are totally fine with it. Yeah I’d rather a video call then jumping on a plane and spend a day there and spend it a day back and it’s.

Mark S A Smith: That’s where you and I differ. I like, I love the adventure. I love the adventure going to strange places and talking to strange people about their strange problems. I like that I like I like the.

Karla Nelson: Strange places strange people in strange problems that is hashtag.

Mark S A Smith: that’s the adventure around me and I, you know, the thing is sure getting on Zoom as a whole lot easier because it’d be this certainly facilitates things it’d be difficult for you and I to get together to have this conversation without this technology. Yet, I’d almost rather jump in my car and drive out to visit you because of the adventures I would have upon the way. That, I have no control over. I’ve no planning for. It’s just the “I wonder what’s going to show up today? What what amazing thing’s going to see? What amazing person I going to meet along the way?” I’ve met some extraordinary people, some mind blowing people.

Mark S A Smith: For example, a week of them, that was a month ago driving down the road, and I see this guy hitchhiking by the side of the road of the great big you know back country backpack and most people go, oh no no we’re not going to pick up hitchhikers. I’m in Utah. What is the likelihood that i’m going to run across somebody who’s a serial killer?

So I pick the guy up.  And he had just finished a 700 mile solo hike through the Utah desert and I had 90 minutes of hearing  this guy’s story. would have discovered that right, so I mean part of it is just being open to the insanity of the world, showing up and saying, “Yes,  sure I’m in.”

Karla Nelson: I love that “I’m in.? Count me in say yes. Right yes there’s a lot of times that you know we walk away and don’t say yes and lose out.  And that.

Mark S A Smith: You know the secret the true secret is willingness. Willingness is the superpower of all military and first responders. Their willingness to step into danger their willingness to run towards.

Karla Nelson: The problem they’re heading up when everyone else is heading down.

Mark S A Smith: that’s right exactly right that willingness is a rare resource and it’s something that is highly valued by leaders are you willing to try something you’ve never done before, or you do you require that you remain in your comfort zone.

Karla Nelson: mm hmm well we all love our comfort zones.

Mark S A Smith: We do, but they’re boring.

Karla Nelson: yeah very true.

Mark S A Smith: What if you could only do things you were good at, for the rest of your life how boring, would it be?

Karla Nelson: You know, in that juxtaposes really.  You know what we do well, and the fact that most people only spend you know eight to 10%. of their time in the things that they do well and their strengths. Right um and the fact that they do them easily they do them well, but then, all of a sudden, you got to look at Also, what are the things you’ve never done. And I think that’s really interesting and you know when it comes down to sales and I know you and I had a conversation in regards to, that is, you know what part of that process, do you do really well, is it the. You know, connecting with somebody or is it the you know paperwork piece, or is it the closing it out, and you know so I’d love to hear you know in regards to being adventurous, and then.  Like being in like what we have to do, day in and day out right um, how do you kind of balance that.

Mark S A Smith: that’s a good question I don’t think you do.

Karla Nelson: Good answer well you know that the reality is is that most people have days of extremes, especially in the entrepreneurial world.

Mark S A Smith: And we have days when we’re extremely busy, and then we have faced when we’re extremely bored and we have days when we’re extremely excited. And I think that’s just part of the nature of an entrepreneurial spirit. Is there is no real balance it’s just the ends up being a weave of days that we string together to accomplish our outcomes.

Karla Nelson: I love that mark there’s not balanced like because everybody hears about this balance thing. Like, what the hell is that? You know, either you’re working like crazy you’re backing off because you need something happened before something else happens. So you know that’s really interesting. point regards to you know being adventurous, but then also understanding, you know it’s you kind of have to roll with the punches as well.

Mark S A Smith: Well think about this metaphor, as long as you’re standing still you’re balanced, but the moment you decide to take a step, you have to lose your balance and catch yourself.

Karla Nelson: mm hmm yeah.

Mark S A Smith: Just like the faster. You go the faster you go, the more you have to lose your balance before you catch yourself running as a series of losing your balance and catching yourself at high speed yeah.

Karla Nelson: that’s all about riding a bike. yeah.

Mark S A Smith: You have to be willing to unfortunately got the gyroscope nature of the wheels which help provide a little bit of force that keeps us up right but yes it’s a balancing issue, but that. But the point is is that we’re always losing balance when we turn we, we have to change the balance and I think it’s not really a matter of balance it’s a matter of being understanding that things go through cycles. And you know it’s. all about cycles cycles Where are you in the cycle, or are you going to build cycle, are you and the rest cycle, are you in the rebuild cycle, are you gonna destroy cycle there’s always where we are in cycles.

Karla Nelson: mm hmm.

Mark S A Smith: First breathe, we have to empty your lungs first you know it’s there’s that breathe in breathe out it’s it is, it is exert.

Karla Nelson: A great book on this um gosh what is it called um there was a gentleman, I had the opportunity.  To meet and he wrote a book and I read it like three times and I can’t believe I can’t remember his name but it talks about we are oscillating people. In a relational world.

Mark S A Smith: Of vibrational world.

Karla Nelson: yeah and he coached a, you know Olympic world champion, like everybody he coached they were athletes Oh, my goodness it’s a great book actually if you anybody probably Google that they’ll come up with this particular book and it talks about you know just the cycle that they go through, and to understand that we are oscillating individuals. And it’s not about focusing on one thing it’s about moving with what’s happening.

Mark S A Smith: Now we have natural cycles when we call them seasons, we call them, day and night. We have…

Karla Nelson: In the book he actually talks about that, like he identifies like you can go from season, you can go from I mean he just identified, like all these different aspects of that’s the way the world works.  Yeah, oscillating heart beats.

Mark S A Smith: Your heart beats not.

Karla Nelson: shout um you know balance it’s like what’s balance.

Mark S A Smith: There really is no balance it’s just a matter of Where are you in your cycle and make sure that you’re doing the thing you need to be doing in your cycle if it’s arrest cycle for crying out loud rest.  And if your work cycle all focusing on working, and I think really the, the best way to think about this is where are you placing your focus if you’re split focus then you know your frittering away your energy and then you’re going to feel like you don’t have time to rest.

Karla Nelson: Good point good point.

Mark S A Smith: And I think the other aspect is to remember that you know it always takes longer than you think to yourself. Cut yourself a little slack. Well, that every business owner and any entrepreneur that I’ve ever met is the fact that it takes

Karla Nelson: twice as long and it costs twice as much. So just playing on that, from the beginning.

Mark S A Smith: And you’ll sell it for half as much.

Karla Nelson: Totally true okay so with that, then I think you should move into you know, one of the things that we had an opportunity to chat about is, you know how people buy and that’s a really great conversation I think, for you know any business owner or entrepreneur is to understand that aspect to share with that little bit you.

Mark S A Smith: Know there’s so many different things we can talk about when it comes to how people buy. But the fundamental is that when it comes to your success as a sales professional half of your success is the buyers motivation, do they want to experience what you’re delivering whether it’s an outcome or it’s the avoidance of a particular outcome.

Karla Nelson: Or if it’s an experience the attraction or avoidance.

Mark S A Smith: mm hmm. Well it’s all there’s absolutely right about half the population is “away-from oriented.” They’re trying to avoid something, get rid of something, eliminate something. About the other half the population is toward. They want to gain something they went to experience something they want to have something they want to win something. Which is really good, because we need to have that balance between the two, you know.  For example, avoiders typical of waiters are lawyers don’t keep you out of jail.

Yeah accountants, you know, keep your your numbers right. Quality Control making sure that what you’re getting is high quality it’s not broken engineering troubleshooting is a fundamental nature of away from.

Karla Nelson: Well, and we know that oh my gosh from the current situation.that happened here recently right engineering is critical.

Mark S A Smith: and

Karla Nelson: You know what the crazy part, Mark, that you just brought up, is the fact that people do things in different parts of the work differently..

Mark S A Smith: Absolutely.

Karla Nelson: One of the things that you know we teach is you know, putting the right people in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.  And what’s interesting is we focus so much on what people aren’t instead of holding them in their magnificence and realizing that you know it’s not like you’re going to come up with the best idea, you know pick the best idea prioritize it find the all the people necessary create the plan poke all the holes in it and do the day mundane things that need to get done.

And I think that’s one of the things in regards to you know just getting things done, that is critical and important and all those pieces, you know and even thinking about you know the ideas of um you know why people buy. I mean. Think about that we could sit here for an hour and go, this is why someone’s going to buy or, this is why someone’s going to avoid, right. Through that process and understanding who’s on your team to be able to do that well. We need to give more time to that.

Mark S A Smith: Well it’s a matter of training, you know. What you help people by determines how they view the purchase fundamentally, motivation aside. And that is do they see the purchases being tactical purchase to perform a task, such as I need to clean the windows let’s go get some window washing spray. That’s a tactical purchase versus something that’s mission critical. You know something that’s just strategic, such as let’s go buy a house. Let’s get married. Let’s buy a car. Let’s buy a boat. You know, those are larger purchases that are fulfilling a mission that supports their identity versus buying something that allows them to forward task which is going and buying groceries. And unless you’re throwing a party.

Karla Nelson: Well, in if you could talk to that. A little bit in your we had previously spoke about a sequence intelligence.

Mark S A Smith: yeah.

Karla Nelson: And how that just makes so much sense in regards to embracing your team and then also knowing what to do at what time.

Mark S A Smith: Oh yeah that gets back to the the concept of of a person’s motivation there’s three fundamental components that structure, a person’s motivation and that’s their objective, what do they want to accomplish or avoid and that’s influenced by their vision of the world, as well as the people that they have there.

But they find to be influential or important to their lives, so we have an internal source of our motivation, we have an external source of to our motivation and ideally when all the two of them align then we’re going to be we’re going to be able to accelerate the fastest. But we you know, an external person is a scorekeeper they let us know if they’re doing we’re doing well or not by their scorekeeping and then we have our internal scorekeeping. Whether we know that we feel like we’re doing our best job we feel like we’re being our best person.

And so we start with those internal and external scorekeepers for objectives so that’s the beginning part of it, so the next step is the priorities that’s the sequence, that is the order in which we attempt to achieve our objectives. And that’s where sequence intelligence starts to become important because there is a probably a best order for most people attempting to to achieve something, whether it’s, you know if you’re cooking you pull together all the ingredients first you make sure you have all the equipment that you need, and then you have to follow the recipe, you know you can’t put it in the oven until you’ve mixed it together those are all sequence elements that end up.

Karla Nelson: You know what’s fun about that, Mark is I’m not sure if you’ve seen, but you know, I have seen where somebody’s giving instructions and even just by giving the instructions doesn’t mean they’re followed exactly correctly and I think a part of that is that you know we don’t include all of the people when they need to be included right and so when we’re trying to get things done and understanding that there’s people right what we call Shakers, 35% of the population that come up with ideas and they can you know well there’s tons of negative terms that we can identify with them squirrel or you know, in the military they call him the chief idea fairy or you’re such a visionary you’ve got your head in the clouds are you know, allowing them to live in that space

And then the 15% of the population that are early adopters that are Doers pick up on those ideas and then okay say hey I can pick the best ideas set of ideas and you know figure out who needs to be involved in that. And then the Provers which are 25% of the population later adopters and they’re like you know how to deal with debbie downer kind of books and everybody like has a frustration with Provers, but they’re the best because you’re gonna like figure out everything that’s going to go wrong before it goes wrong, so let them just you know do what they do best

And then the makers that you know, are fine, with the day to day mundane Okay, I can you know roll with the checklist day in and day out, and I think that’s really interesting in regards to your sequence intelligence and how do you engage a team, because we all do, different parts of the work.

Mark S A Smith: differently and necessarily so.

Karla Nelson: different pieces of that.

Mark S A Smith: And necessarily so, everybody on a team has a different worldview that’s formed by their personality their training their culture, their personal identity and, interestingly, you pointed out a couple of times in your your conversation there that people. Now tend to throw arrows at some of these characters characteristics. And there’s

Karla Nelson: So many negative terms for them so not like holding them and their brilliance is like beating them up for what they aren’t.

Mark S A Smith: Well, those those in some ways are hints of jealousy wishing that I could have that same experience.

Karla Nelson: that’s a good point.

Mark S A Smith: Another part of it is just not understanding their viewpoint is required for us to have a in this particular case, the word balanced is correct, balanced in the in the term of a balanced tire. And that runs down the road better when it is in balanced than if it’s out of out of balance, if you have an organization that’s nothing but idea generators nothing gets nothing happens, and if you have an organization that’s nothing but implementation. It falls apart, it becomes obsolete. Well, and so we have to have that balance.

Karla Nelson: And what’s so interesting about that mark is you know we’ve worked with you know new tech companies almost everybody, early adopters right, idea, idea, idea. But you have to get to the point to replicating something over and over again and and it’s interesting you know we’ve. been training a city that has had some really challenging situations in regards to diversity and inclusion and we train like I don’t know 54 of their managers, they had no makers, I was like, “I know what you struggle with every single day, is the fact that you’re great with making the rules, but now all of a sudden, you have to actually do that checklist you don’t like it, do you?” And they erupted in laughter it’s like you know we need everybody we just don’t need them at the same time in the work.

Mark S A Smith: Right.

Karla Nelson: And you have to get through that entire process and that’s what I love about the sequence intelligence that.

Mark S A Smith: The whole idea behind sequence intelligence is it starts with master planning which is what’s the outcome that you really the best possible outcome that you can achieve. And then figuring out how to increment stepwise to doing that you know. One example is we have these absolutely fantastic things that have become our handcuffs these smartphones and.

Karla Nelson: You know it’s taken a not an awful lot to get us to this point.

Mark S A Smith: You know, starting all the way with it back with the idea of let’s say voice communications and now that’s the least used function of this phone. not talking to them very much anymore right. Yeah and so there’s a lot of things that had to had to be in place sequencing that had to get into place before we got to this particular point.

But if you start with the end in mind, then we can figure out the sequence that’s required, and we can talk to the people that are going to help us navigate that sequence. And then we can figure out the best way to get there now best is a judgment, whether it’s the least expensive, the fastest. If the most fun there’s a lot of different criteria that we could assigned to the word best, but we get to do that, we can decide that through leadership in the team of what we do, how do we define best. But that’s where the that’s where sequencing really becomes important, and it has to do with priority.

Karla Nelson: that’s a good point oh one of the things that I’ve communicated to people it because relationships are super important to be. When I look at my checklist and I’m definitely a person that loves to have a checklist Is that how is it going to affect the relationship like me that’s the way that’s my you know view of the checklist and I go Okay, so if that’s needing to be done based off the checklist you know, and then I love it you’re like Okay, do we, is it about fun or is about fast or is about less expensive.

Mark S A Smith: or.

Karla Nelson: You know, putting that in regards to the sequence intelligence makes total sense.

Mark S A Smith: I think a part of this too is is having impact literacy understanding the impact of the choices, you make the decisions you make the actions that you take are part of sequence intelligence and unfortunately we don’t really possess impact literacy until we’ve made a lot of mistakes.

Karla Nelson: Well that’s a part of life right. Like yeah honestly at the end of the day, um. yeah exactly.

Karla Nelson: that’s awesome so mark How can our viewers and listeners get Ahold of you?

Mark S A Smith: All the very easiest way is let’s connect on LinkedIn marksonlinkedin.com. It’s hard to find me unless you use Mark S A Smith, you can find me that way to search on and just say hey you know heard your podcast love to connect and I’ll be delighted to give anybody who wishes to 20 minutes of time to have a conversation about whatever they want to talk about I love the adventure everybody I talked to has something to teach me.

Karla Nelson: I can’t tell you I’ve met so many amazing people just being open.

Mark S A Smith: Right willing.

Karla Nelson: That we will keep it in the podcast notes and mark Thank you so much it’s been a pleasure. Likewise, and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Mark S A Smith: I mean either it’ll be amazing and always has been, always will be.

Karla Nelson: Yes, sir.


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