What Motivates Your Customer To Buy?

by | Feb 1, 2008 | Sales Strategy

When it comes to making decisions it boils down to motivation. It’s not what we do, but why. For example, we qualify a prospect with clear needs.

  • We give a presentation on the benefits of our products and services and the customer understands the fit and one week later makes a decision to reward our company with the business.
  • Similar situation, different prospect, different contact, same presentation with the same benefits, and the prospect drops off the face of the earth.

Why? Why would two companies with similar needs that were presented the same benefits come to two different conclusions? Was it a predisposition to buy or were different contact personalities motivated to buy for different reasons?

Miller Heiman’s book The New Strategic Selling sets forth the internal company situations that predispose a sale:

  • The first is to find a solution that will alleviate any trouble they are in.
  • The second is to support the growth that the company is experiencing.

But predisposed companies are not the entire market. Miller explains there is a slim chance for a sale at the companies that are “overconfident” or “even keel”, even when there is no driving internal company need at this particular point in time. How can we tip those who are predisposed to purchase from us, not our competition? How can you reach those marginal candidates and increase the chance for winning the opportunity? The answer – motivate the specific buying decision makers.

When you can identify the personalities of the decision makers, you have a better chance of winning the business through understanding their personal motivations to make a decision in your favor. As we discussed last month, we classify people into four personality styles: Blue, Gold, Green and Orange. So what would be the individual motivation for each of these personality types?

  • For Gold’s, the bottom line is important. What is the return on investment, how can the solution increase revenues or decrease cost. Gold’s are motivated by financial results.
  • The Blue personality is always motivated by what the product or service can do for the people in the organization. If the solution will increase employee moral or help employees work better or lower stress on the job, these aspects will be important to the Blue personality.
  • The Green personality is motivated by the specifics of the solution. Technology is important and the quality within the budgeted investment. What does the future look like, how can it improve our technology, our products and services to be the leading edge in our industry.
  • The Orange personality is motivated by price and performance, getting a great deal and gaining a competitive edge by investing in the solution. Orange’s, liking to be the center of attention, always want to shine when making a decision for the company.

So what if you have a mix of personalities on the decision team? Highlight your benefits so they capture all identified personalities. Present the financial benefits (Gold), the enhancement to the workplace (Blue), the quality of the technology/approach (Green), and competitive benefits (Orange). The more you know the styles of the decision makers the better your chances of making the sale. Learning to quickly tag prospects into one of our personality groups, and then understanding how to leverage their personal motivations, will increase your win rate and potentially shorten your sales cycle!