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The Thing That Makes Your Buyer Buy:

September 5, 2019

Blog 7 in a series of 7. 

As sales professionals wouldn’t it be amazing if we could get insight into why people buy? How wonderful would it be if you knew what made your prospect actually purchase?  Likely, you’d be closing more deals and be far more effective than you are today, right? 

Over the last few weeks we have been discussing the six sales imperatives- Things that simply don’t change because in sales because they are so important to customers. This week’s is dedicated to understanding why buyers buy. Knowing about personal buying motives and what compels people to make purchasing decisions is critical to the success of salespeople. 

The thing that will make your buyer buy. 

Why do buyers buy? It’s an age-old question with a surprisingly simple answer. Buyers buy primarily with the idea that whatever they are buying is going to help their business. They could be trying to increase revenues, reduce costs, increase quality or reduce effort all in the attempt to increase profitability. Often just as important in the buying decision is a buyer’s personal motives…. that’s right, a personal motive in business. It’s true! In fact, every purchase is made with both a task (business) and personal motive. 

In the majority of cases, salespeople miss the personal motive. They don’t ask about it, they don’t feel its relevant, and some even think it’s a waste of time. That’s a shame. It’s a real miss. Although, I guess it is an opportunity for the rest of us to gain a competitive edge. 

So, you might ask…are you sure there is a personal motive in every deal? Yes, I am. In fact, if you ever come across a deal without a personal motive, I’d say you are in one of two situations: 1) It’s a transactional, commodity type sale. 2) You are dealing with someone that is not actually a decision maker. They have been tasked by someone else. 

Personal motives make sense and they are an amazingly powerful part of the deal. They make sense because we see examples of personal motives in everything we purchase in our personal lives. Think about any major purchase you’ve made- car, appliance, technology…. any of them have a range of options and price ranges. We’ll use a washer/dryer for an example. They serve a very basic purpose- Clean and dry clothes. (Task motive) That said, there is a wide range of pricing. You could scour ads for a used set and get out of it for a couple hundred bucks. If you have money to burn Miele offers a commercial grade pair for $41k. (Free shipping though, so there’s that.)  The majority of when that washer is purchased and where it falls on the price spectrum is determined by personal motives. That’s what makes personal motives so powerful. If you can uncover them and then appeal to them you have a driver that will help you close faster, better predict when things will close, and will even have a positive impact on your pricing. 

There are 4 personal motives. Power, respect, approval, and recognition. Reach out if you’d like more information on how these motives might apply to different buyer types. For now, let’s focus on how to uncover them. 

You have to ask. It starts by doing thorough discovery. Take a look at your discovery questions from your last few sales calls. I bet they centered around who, how much, when, cost…That is all great information to have but it only serves the task motives. On your next call try adding in:

  • Tell me about the impact of this change on you or your team? 
  • How do you feel about it? 
  • What’s driving the decision on your side? 
  • What’s the impact to you if we don’t move forward?
  • How do you see this being a benefit to the team?
  • How are you feeling about the process change?

Obviously, these questions have to be put in the context of what you sell and your specific customer needs, but the point is- you have to ask them if you are going to uncover the personal motives. 

Once those personal motives are uncovered, you’ll use them in advocation to help gently nudge your prospect into the purchase that is right for them and at a time they feel good about. When done well, they will be as comfortable working with you as they are when they pull that fresh clean shirt right out of the dryer. 

If you’d like to see the rest of the series or read more blog posts from The WinSource, you can find them here.

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Ideas, comments, and questions are always welcomed! Happy Selling!

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