Customer Hot Buttons

Last week we had colossal dollops of snow hit our tiny island, something we’re not used to. Or can cope with.  People say it’s the coldest winter since 1963 here in the UK.  Let me explain how a freezing winter can help you really clarify your customer’s needs whilst selling your product or idea.

As a result, everything ground to a halt – schools closed, the road system jammed, businesses sent workers home and gas supplies had to be imported from Norway to cope with the central heating demand.

But we all had a whale of a time. Euan was outside as soon as it was daylight sledging and playing snowballs with his friends, Lewis thought it would be extra time on Xbox Live with his Xbox Crew, Bethan wanted to phone her girlfriends to say how wonderful it was, Claire was happy for the day off surrounded by her family and me…

…I was glad to be at home that day and praying that the Broadband and electricity stayed on and I could contact my clients.

You see, snow means diverse things to different people and when we’re selling things, products, services or ideas, we need to appreciate that our customers see things differently and like varying aspects of whatever we’re selling.  Just because we think our widget is great for this or that doesn’t mean that our customer thinks the same.

Customers have “hot buttons” which they attach to things they buy. The five global hot buttons are:


When they apply these hot buttons to our product/idea/service it’s called their buying criteria and it helps us to see what they want from our product.

For example, I’m really into convenience, I guess I’m quiet lazy, so I need products to help me save time and effort and make things easy for me.  So when I bought my VW Golf a couple of years ago knowing that the service interval was 25,000 miles really ticked my box.

A customer might be into power, so you show how your car can make them look good in their neighbourhood, stroke their ego a little.

Your client is into comfort so knowing that your investment product has built in professional discretionary management, might float their boat.

Now my wife gets me to do DIY around the house by threatening to call a man who can do do the job.  She knows that my pride will certainly make me do the job – my power hot button.

So next time you’re with your customer ask them about the pain you’re solving and what it means to them personally, to find out their buying criteria. “What are you looking for in…” is a great question to ask.

And is it the coldest winter since 1963?  I don’t know yet it’s still going on, but what I do know if it wasn’t for the cold winter of 1963, I wouldn’t be here now. Apparently it was so cold without central heating; people had to go to bed. Now there’s some buying criteria for you.