My favorite discussions in the team are often about true or false motives why people buy. You may be idealistic and don’t believe in a black and white society. Maybe you have other theories and consider a colorful set of reasons why people are buying from you. Please let us know, and contribute in the comments section.
Sales professionals in my teams understand my take on this. I believe in a solid Back, White & Grey relationship of buying motives. Everything you do in your professional life may get reduced to a common denominator. That is right: All actions go back to a particular reason.
The key in your sales approach is to center your fantastic features according to the relevant benefits of your prospect. Those benefits must match the buying motive. When you address the wrong purpose, you may miss nailing the opportunity.
Greed – Who Said That Gordon Gekko Is Old School?
Gordon Gekko said it, and we all laughed about it. We shrugged it off, we neglect it and get a stale taste on the tongue just thinking about it. Michael Douglas as Gekko argued, “Greed, for the lack of a better word, is good.” You may believe that this applies only to a true capitalist, but it is human nature. Money makes the world go around, and we all are prone to make as much money as we can. My old boss Gavin once said: I don’t want to save money, I want to make a profit”.
The sad thing about money is that it never reaches a saturation or tipping point. If I offer you to buy all your drinks on Friday after work, there would be a limit of liquid you can drown, until you have enough. Even with alcohol, your body will object and force you to stop at some point, depending on training. With money, we don’t know any limitations and will never reach a tipping point.
Fear of Loss – Uncertainty and Doubt Push Mankind Beyond Limits
Almost the entire insurance industry runs on the principle of fear of loss. And think about it, why would you insure anything of value if there wouldn’t be the principle of doubt. Without fear, we all would drive without using seat belts, put no money away for pension, or would never think of the consequences of pollution. You don’t need to be a tree hugger to see the argument. In the wake of a hurricane, we all undertake preparations to protect ourselves.
Fifty Shades of Grey – It’s All About Me and the Perception of Me
And here is the questionable third buying motive. How do I live my life, and how am I seen living it. The old saying still carries some truth. Sex still sells. But it is not just that. In general, it is personal greed for the best things in life. Enjoy the time alive to the fullest. Like for money, there is no real tipping point for love. Either love for your family, your special one, or love for the things you own. You notice that owning things are not enough. If you count in spiritual belief in a higher force or an afterlife, you may also see a life led by fear or ultimate greed. Extremes on both sides are close to each other.
In general, we can confirm that status and the perception you portrait on people around you influence your buying decisions. Would you take a platinum credit card if offered? You still need to pay the purchases you make. Chances that you say yes to it are 999 to 1, and I do not blame you for it. When you are a child, you may compete with your siblings. In school, you compete in popularity, sports, arts and getting good grades. You compete for the best university and later for the best job. It is natural that you compare yourself your fellow students in your class, in your school. Then you compete with people in your industry or even world wide.
How can you apply your knowledge of identifying a buying motive in a sales call?
As briefly mentioned above, you need to structure your pitch. If prospects contact you because of a particular need, you can use this opportunity to learn more about their buying motive. You probably don’t even need to ask them, as it will surface while discussing details.
In case you are the one proactively reaching out to potential prospects, you surely have identified a common problem your solution is solving. Or your solution may offer an opportunity to invest and to generate a positive return to the buyer. Instead of staying at the surface, accepting a symptom, you need to dive deeper and address the underlying denominator.
“Patrick, you probably know that 2018 a new regulation for data protection goes into effect and that penalties for not being compliant get planned for €20 Million or 4% of global revenue. How do you ensure that there won’t be a breach in your data storage?”
“Phillip, you probably read about the demand for 3D printing and prototyping within the automotive industry. The winning vendor company will take away huge profits and market share. How is your route-to-market strategy, to provide an affordable printing experience to a highly competitive market?
Use the buying motive within your impact statement to start off the call. Without banging on a buying motive, you will nail the opportunity.
Let us know your most common buying motive of your prospects in the comment section.