Before we jump into buying motives, let’s revisit our doctor’s office analogy for a quick update.
When a doctor starts asking questions to diagnose the situation, the questions he or she asks are simple at first. They are based on their own general historical experience and their own historical knowledge of you. For example, “What’s your age? When was the last time you went to the doctor? How do you feel right now?”
The questions get more complicated as they proceed. Then he or she weighs your answers to figure out what problem or problems might need fixing. Then, based on their expertise, they can arrive at a proper diagnosis.
That’s the kind of process we’re following in sales.
In previous posts, we reviewed a questioning model that built a framework for conducting the sales process. It identifies where the prospect or buyer is currently, where they want to be, the obstructions that impede their progress or prevent them from achieving their goal, and the payout or what they will get when they achieve their goal.
4 Categories for the Prospect’s Buying Interest
But there is some additional information we need to know as salespeople to power that sale forward to closure. After all, we are talking about generating interest that drives the sales process. These interest areas can be quantified as:
- Primary Interest or Absolutes
- Buying Criteria
- Buying Motive
- Other Considerations
Through their questioning process, the salesperson should be able to determine through the line of questioning during the evaluation stage what the prospect’s buying absolutes are. The seller should also be able to determine the things that are optional. Then, the savvy salesperson should be able to take a product or service and talk to the specific buying motives of the individual buyer. or the group of buyers.
Buying criteria could be price, terms of the deal, favorable interest rates,or whether the buyer can go forward with no money down. Certain financing options could come into play, ease of use, or an all-inclusive package.
Some of those buying criteria are need-to-have. Others are nice-to-have. Some may even be absolutes. It’s very possible that the absolutes get mixed up sometimes, so be wary. To diagnose properly, we really need to pay attention to what those absolutes are as we ask our questions. Then we need to figure out the buying motives – the reason a buyer wants something.
Buying motives will typically conform in one way or another to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – physical survival, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization—at some level. It’s a concept that has been around since the 1940s, and it’s usually shown as a pyramid, with basic physiological needs at the bottom, and above them, some higher-order psychological needs.
Example of Leveraging Buying Motives to Magnify Interest
Here’s an example. Think back to the earlier post where I was buying the Adidas AlphaBounces. Buying the sneakers, the AlphaBounces, was the primary interest. Those shoes were the primary reason I was at that store. White shoes was a strong buying criteria that I was wrestling with. Another buying criteria was clean shoes that everyone kept putting in my face. But the salesman pulled out the buying motive when he said, “Ooooh! These are *those* shoes” and then painted a very compelling picture heightening the feeling and my desire to buy.
Remember, we are all emotional beings, and a salesperson sells to people. People buy emotionally, but they justify their decision using logic. That’s why the salesperson has to know those emotionally driving factors. It’s not an exact science. But the questions we worked through during the evaluation period helps the salesperson put the jigsaw puzzle together.
But just because people buy on emotion doesn’t mean you need to sell that way. In the sales process, always use logic and reasoning, not emotion, when moving your sales process forward.
You’ll find more ideas on creating and leveraging buying motives in your sales process in Lance Tyson’s book, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World available on Amazon. Get your copy today!