September 17, 2013

Why We Buy by Paco Underhill Review

In this edition of Cydcor Reviews, our VP of Marketing endorses a key guide to sales.  Anyone interested in direct sales can benefit from studying the habits of shoppers. Enjoy!

Title:  Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping

Author:  Paco Underhill

Review by: Gail Michalak, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Cydcor

Description of this book:  Paco Underhill is a market researcher who has spent his life collecting comprehensive data on our shopping habits.  He is the founder and CEO of Envirosell, INC and has done consumer research for Microsoft, McDonald’s and Estee Lauder.  Along with his team of trackers, Underhill records everything from how many times products are touched and for how long to how many signs are read.  He divides the book by sales techniques and demographics, discussing simple ideas that are often taken for granted (ie: you only have two hands to carry merchandise with).  If you think you know your shopping habits, this book will blow your mind!

Why read this?:  This book is an essential for anyone in business, especially anyone selling directly to consumers. While most helpful to retailers, Paco can also offer insights on the changing demographic: how busy women are creating a growing market for male consumers, how the aging population should shape marketing and merchandising, and how positioning of your message affects shoppers.  As a salesperson, this book will help you think about what customers are looking for (men, women and seniors respectively) and how to build comfortable relationships with your demographic.

My favorite part:  My favorite part about this book was all the stories about overheard conversations or observations during Underhill’s work.  The first chapter talks about watching an old couple shopping for underwear.  The wife mentions wearing her husband’s boxers at one point, providing insight that it is difficult to find comfortable underwear for older women.  It is amusing and insightful at the same time!

About the reviewer:
Gail Michalak is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Cydcor.  She is the leading officer for marketing, corporate communications, public relations, and events for Cydcor and its network of nearly 300 independent sales companies. To learn more about Gail and her team, head over to Cydcor’s corporate website.