Identifying the Seven Buyer Motivations
Until you know what your prospective clients want or need, you’re in no position to sell them anything. All you can do is present the product and describe its features. When you know what the client is looking for, however, then you can pitch the product to their wants or needs. So, what motivates people to buy stuff?
- Need/Problem: Customers may already know that they have a need or problem, but many others are clueless. Until your customer recognizes the problem and realizes that viable solutions are available, she sees no need for what you’re selling. Early in the process, raise your customer’s awareness of the problem. Only then are you prepared to lead your customer through the process of analyzing available solutions.
- Greed: Numerous products and services are designed to help people make more money. If you’re in corporate sales, that’s pretty much all you sell because businesses are in the business of making money. If what you’re selling can make people more productive or can boost revenue or cut expenses, then you can sell your product by playing to your customer’s desire to make money.
- Fear: Fear sells. Some claim that fear sells better than sex, and they might be right. Just think of all the advertising invested in marketing products that protect us from real or perceived threats. Fear sells everything from home alarm systems to bottled water!
- Pleasure: If you’re selling in a feel-good industry, such as vacation travel, hobbies, or home décor, marketing to your customers’ pleasures is paramount. But even in industries in which pleasure isn’t the central focus, you can often sell luxury-class items by focusing on the pleasure they’re likely to provide.
- Vanity: People not only want to feel good, they want to look good, and they want other people to think they look good, too. If you’re in the beauty business, from hair care products to plastic surgery, your marketing and selling strategies need to target the customers’ desire to look good.
- Impulse: People often buy stuff because everyone else is buying it. (Just check out all the ribbon stickers on the backs of cars!) You don’t need to be a great salesperson to take advantage of a hot trend because people often purchase these items impulsively. Success depends more on distributing the product and placing it in high-profile locations.
- Fatigue: Pushy salespeople can be very successful simply by wearing the customer down, but avoid taking this approach. It may work for a door-to-door salesperson who wanders from town to town, but when you’re trying to build a reputation that secures future business, bully tactics are counterproductive.
Sure, you’re selling a product or service, but your customer buys to solve a problem or meet a need. Early on, focus more on your customer and on identifying problems or needs.