Ever felt buyer’s remorse? That sinking feeling in your stomach after you have made a major purchase that you now feel quite differently about?
It’s OK to feel excited about a major purchase. Buying a new car, a new house, or that stainless steel refrigerator with the beverage drawer (oh yeah!) are all financial decisions that can make us feel good about our direction in life and what we are doing for our family. But how do we know that we are making a good decision and not a bad decision, one that we will have buyer’s remorse about later?
A very good way to avoid buyer’s remorse to do practice the Pause Before Purchase for 7 days prior to away major purchase. During this 7 days, really communicate openly and honesty with your immediate family why you need this item and what it will do.
Pause Before Purchase Step #1 – Do You Really Need The Item? The best place to start is to really confirm that you do need the item. Is this item going to make things easier, safer, help you at work? Taking time to truly understand why we want something helps us understand the purchase choice.
Pause Before Purchase Step #2– Practice Your Regular Purchase Research. Next, follow your existing research process to find a company, item, color, price, and other product characteristics that you want.
Pause Before Purchase Step #3 – Identify What Happened Without The Item. Now that you are in your 7-day Pause Before Purchase, identify what happens WITHOUT the item? Does everything go on as before, or is something missing? What is it? Would the new item have helped?
Pause Before Purchase Step #4 – How Would The Item Have Helped You? As you continue the 7-day Pause Before Purchase, identify how the item would have helped you and would it completely solve the need that you identified in Step #1?
Pause Before Purchase Step #5 – Reevaluate Your Purchase Decision & Re-Decide. After the complete end of the 7-day Pause Before Purchase, reevaluate your purchase choice? Reconfirm that the need is valid, that the item fulfills that need, and that the item really will make a difference. If you have any remaining doubts or uncertainties, then stop – do not make the purchase. You should only purchase if you feel truly comfortable.
The 7-Day Pause Before Purchase is a simple, direct, and straight forward method to avoid buyer’s remorse. Be excited about your purchases, but understand that our excitement may cause us to make a bad choice. Use a dedicated 7 day pause to ensure you make the right choice.
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Chad Storlie is the author of two books: Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and Battlefield to Business Success. Both books teach how to translate and apply military skills to business. An adjunct Lecturer of Marketing at Creighton University and Bellevue University in Omaha, NE. Chad is a retired US Army Special Forces officer with 20+ years of Active and Reserve service in infantry, Special Forces, and joint headquarters units. He served in Iraq, Bosnia, Korea, and throughout the United States. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Special Forces Tab, and the Ranger Tab. In addition to teaching, he is a mid-level marketing executive and has worked in marketing and sales roles for various companies, including General Electric, Comcast, and Manugistics. He has been published in The Harvard Business Review blog, Business Week Online, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, and over 40 other publications. He has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University.
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