February 2, 2010

How to Identify the Six Basic Buying Motives

By Homer B. Smith

For self-improvement, to reduce costs or for pure enjoyment – the number of buying motives can make a salesperson’s head spin. But don’t worry. They all can fit neatly under one of the following six categories. Once you identify the category, you can then concentrate on matching your product’s benefits to your buyer’s true motive and end your sales presentation with a signed purchase order.

1. Profit or Gain: Save money; make money; economy; more profit; more sales; longer wear; personal advancement.

2. Fear of Loss: Reduce costs; prevent loss; guarantee; safety; save time; protect property, health or loved ones; long wear; security; no risk; no blame; insurance.

3. Comfort and Pleasure: Enjoyment; good health; comfort; good food and drink; good housing; beauty; sexual attraction; entertainment; sports; recreation; improved employee morale; keep and attract better employees.

4. Avoidance of Pain: Protection; relief from pain; less work; save time; security; safety; good health; no worry; more attractive; reduce loss.

5. Love and Affection: Family; social approval; beauty; admiration; security of loved ones; loyalty; friendship; better public relations; better employee relations.

6. Pride and Prestige: Social acceptance; desire to possess; style; fashion; high quality; learning; advancement; admiration; imitation; self-improvement; honors; recognition; leadership; improved product; beat competition; higher sales; good public image.

How can you identify your prospect’s strongest buying motives? Here are some suggestions.

First, ask questions. “If I could help you save three minutes on each machine operation, would you be interested?”

Second, listen for volunteered comments. For example, if the prospect says, “I wish I had more time to go camping,” the salesperson might emphasize the labor-saving, time-saving benefits that result from using the product.

Third, listen to comments during the presentation. The auto customer asks, “How fast will it go?” Now the salesperson can assume that the prospect is more interested in speed or prestige than in economy of operation.

Finally, observe. Study the prospects, their surroundings, evidence of hobbies, products they now use. To make the sale, learn the motive!