Hitting Your Customers Hot Button

Everyone has a hot button that induces them to make a purchasing decision, so are you hitting your customers hot button? People buy products and services for a variety of reasons including;

  • Prestige and ego
  • Wanting to have the best
  • Improving their education
  • For the good of the family
  • To make life easier
  • To fulfil a dream

What problem does your product or service solve? Buyers look for solutions. Buyers respond to having their ‘hot button’ activated. Buyers look for clues that they have made the right purchasing decision ie: a recommendation from a reliable source.

Hitting Your Customers Hot Button

If you are visiting a potential customer in their environment – home, factory, office, business premises – look around.

  • Is it clean & tidy or cluttered & dirty?
  • Is it welcoming?
  • What kinds of pictures are on their desk or walls – family, dog, car, sporting activity, special interest?
  • Do they have trophies or awards displayed?
  • Are they organized or disorganized?
  • Are there golf clubs behind the door?
  • What can you smell – coffee, chemicals, perfume, flowers?
  • Are children running around?


Observing people and their environments is a key to hot button marketing. If customers visit you, say in a showroom, take a note of what they are wearing – business clothes, gym wear, casual, uniform – not to make a judgment but to ascertain information.

  • Are they business owners themselves?
  • What type of business are they in?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • Are they employed?
  • Do they work inside or outside?
  • Do they have children or grandchildren?
  • Are they shopping for themselves or someone else?
  • Do they live in the area?
  • Did they drive or walk?
  • What kind of car do they have? (a sports car, they might be single. A people mover, they might have a big family)

To understand someone’s hot button(s) you need to question, listen and observe.

Hitting Your Customers Hot Button

Ask Questions, Don’t Making Statements

People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.

Why are there so many beers and wines on the market? Expensive, average, and inexpensive. And which one do you buy? Why? Taste? Perceived quality? Because your friends drink it? The label is appealing? You want people to see the bottle in your wine collection? You’re a snob? You don’t care what you drink? It was on special?

What is your motivation or emotion for drinking a certain beverage? What could a prospective customer’s motivation or emotion be in buying your products or services? What are the barriers to purchase? (and don’t say price because few products sell on price alone).

Hitting Your Customers Hot Button

By understanding the buying behaviour of your customers, you can provide them with a solution. You can help them to buy, not sell to them.

DON’T SAY “Our containers hold 500 and can expand to 750’

ASK “How much capacity are you looking for?”

DON’T SAY “We have blue, green yellow, red, orange and purple”

ASK “What color did you want?” or “What is your color scheme?”

DON’T SAY “Our widgets are $100”

ASK “How much did you want to spend?”

DON’T SAY “This car is the best medium-sized car on the market today”

ASK “How many people in your family?” and “What will you be using the vehicle for?” and “Do you drive mostly in the city?”

By allowing someone to buy from you, as opposed to selling someone something, you will experience greater success in sales, and business.

Do you ask questions of your customers? What do you ask that typically gets a good response? Have you sought out ways to ask better questions?

I can highly recommend Barry Feig’s book Hot Button Marketing as an excellent resource. I’d love you to join me on Twitter @insanelyclever and Facebook /InsanelyCleverMarketing for more great advice, free business tips and insanely clever marketing inspiration.


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