8 Buying Motives ALL Salespeople Should Know!

There are many different reasons why customers want to buy your products or services. Often they have more than just one buying motive making it harder to decipher what’s the best approach to sell to them. In this article, we explore the 8 buyer motives all salespeople should know to position themselves as the ideal solution provider.

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What is buyer motivation?

Many salespeople want to influence their customers to buy, however, this can’t be done without truly understanding their buyer’s motivations. So what is a customer’s buying motive? It’s a set of psychological reasons that compel consumers to make a particular purchase.

These buying motives usually fall into these three buying motive categories: Conscious vs Dormant, Rational vs Emotional, Product vs Patronage.

Conscious Vs Dormant Buying Motives

Conscious buying motives are identified by the buyer themselves. They are aware of what their motives are. In contrast, the dormant buying motives don’t influence buyers until your sales or marketing teams engage them. Dormant buying motives tap into a need your customer didn’t know they had until someone brought it to their attention.

Rational Vs Emotional Buying Motives

Emotional buying motives influence a person to purchase based on an emotional factor possibly linked to feelings of security, well-being, power, curiosity, love, affection, anxiety, desire to be praised, liked or seen as attractive… anything that taps into our emotions. In contrast, rational buying motives are when consumers seek satisfaction by purchasing something based on rationalizing the purchase. For instance, by object-related criteria such as price, statistics, research and so on.

Product Vs Patronage Buying Motives

Product buying motives are a consumer purchasing a particular product, often motivated by the physical and psychological features—for instance, the design, colour, size, package, quality, price etc. In contrast, a Patronage motive influences a person to purchase products from a specific seller or producer. For example consumers who solely buy Apple or Android products. This satisfies customers who prefer to buy products from sellers they know, like and trust.

8 Buying Motives all Salespeople Should Know

Next, we’ll explore the most prominent buying motives you need to consider when conducting a sales conversation with a prospect.

Buying Motives infographics

1. Financial Gain

Most B2B prospects are spending money to make money. So naturally, their primary motive is to utilise a product or service to improve their growth, revenue or operations. For this reason, you need to be able to show, not tell, the benefits of your product or service.

However, the problem with prospects motivated by financial gain is that often, they have more at stake than just money. They’re often buying on behalf of their business and company – and will need solid assurance they’re in good hands – after all, their career is on the line. To successfully sell to financial buying motives, set your prospect at ease about their buying decision with proof devices such as demonstrations, test results and case studies.

2. Need

Need is one of the most apparent buying motives. For instance, if your prospect has a problem that you can solve, they’re immediately going to consider your product or service at the very least. Sometimes though, prospects aren’t aware of their need and need to be inspired or guided by the salesperson. For instance, with provocative selling, you’re focusing on raising attention to uncover issues. This method allows you to position yourself as the expert, waking your prospect through how to solve this issue with you – the ideal solution provider.

3. Health

Considering how turbulent 2020 was, it’s no surprise that many more consumers are taking steps to protect their well-being. Therefore, a health buying motive is about leveraging the fact that the prospect wants to live well and for longer. The key to selling to these types of consumers? Proof devices such as demonstrating the efficacy of your product.

4. Impulse

Everyone gets caught in the heat of the moment, which is why it’s important to remember that impulse is a great buying motive. The foundation of an impulse buying motive is excitement and urgency and can motivate prospects to act quickly. For instance, promotional pricing tactics like countdowns, flash sales, or limited time only offers always work effectively.

5. Pleasure

Not everyone buys just the basics. Consumers often make purchases that aren’t essential but are for the sole purpose of indulging themselves. For this reason, if you’re only trying to appeal to this buying motive, then you can easily consider your product or service to be “luxury”.

6. Fear

Fear is a powerful motivator for action – this applies to most situations, and it’s no different for buyers. Many businesses play on the factor of fear to create a sense of urgency in their sales and marketing efforts. While this may seem unethical in a sense, all you’re really doing is highlighting your prospect’s needs – maybe even one they’re ignoring!

7. Acceptance

Acceptance is known as the buyer motive responsible for most trends. It all stems from the consumer’s fear of missing out (FOMO). This is why certain products or services skyrocket in interest and then usually fall into obscurity after a while. Nobody wants to miss out on the next big thing, and everybody wants to be involved – that’s why acceptance is a vital buying motive all salespeople should know.

8. Self-Improvement

Here at SOCO, we always believe that learners are earners – that’s why purchases of our sales training courses aren’t likely to be out of pleasure. Instead, those looking to excel in their careers are often motivated by self-improvement and financial gain to an extent. So how do you sell to this buying motive? First, appeal to their determination by providing them with a challenge and reassurance that they’ll be more well respected in the area they’re trying to improve by purchasing your product.

How can you identify your prospect’s strongest buying motives?

Below are the three particular skills related to consultative selling that can help you to quickly identify your prospect’s strongest buying motive if you suspect that there is more than one:

Active listening

Too many sales professionals think they need to do all of the talking when meeting with prospects. They tell them everything about their product or service. They dominate the conversation, leaving little time for the prospect to share anything about themselves or what they’re looking for. Stop focusing on trying to sell and concentrate on being an active listener. By expressing genuine interest in the person in front of you, you’re making them feel valued, will build trust quickly, and it naturally creates a real personal connection. As the conversation progresses, you’ll find that you have common goals, different ways in which you could help each other, or even help your business with a specific need.

Ask the right questions

Ask probing questions to uncover problems. Prospects will not naturally tell you their challenges; you have to probe them by asking the right questions gently. Customers purchase products or services based on their needs, so it’s important first to know the issue, and only then you can sell the solution.

Research your prospects

It’s simple. Do your research before you sit down with a prospect so that you can plan precisely what you need to achieve from it – making you far more likely to get the outcome you want. Tighten up your processes and maximise your sales results by familiarising yourself with prospects’ traits, qualities, and personalities by discovering 9 different types of prospects.

Turn “I’m just looking” into “can you tell me more about this product?”

SOCO’s retail sales training program is designed to equip participants with knowledge and application skills to better approach customers, ask probing questions, make practical demonstrationsrespond to objections and close sales.

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