Connecting to What is Motivating a Buyer Will Help You Close the Sale
In any given sales situation you must be aware of your own motivation concerning the sale, you must recognize what is motivating the potential buyer. Not recognizing the reasons for can cause conflict between the seller and the buyer.
In any given sales situation, you must be aware as to your own personal motivation concerning the sale, and more importantly, you must recognize what is motivating the potential buyer. Not recognizing the reason or purpose for acting on either side of the fence can cause conflict between the seller and the buyer. And, conflict does not usually lead to a sale. In order to put structure around this thinking, I will define four types of motivation.
Fear motivation is usually emotionally driven and can generate high levels of anxiety. The anxiety may, or may not be, based on the facts. Fear motivation can be suffocating and can stifle action. When an individual is motivated by fear he or she anticipates danger. Some fears make more sense than others. Jumping out of an airplane with a parachute is one thing. Making a follow-up phone call after an initial sales meeting or saying yes to a buying decision has a totally different risk factor. Below are some examples of fear motivation.
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success
- Fear of punishment
Incentive motivation on the other hand makes people work harder. Incentive motivation stimulates activity. Incentive motivation usually has roadblocks that must be overcome. Incentive motivation can sometime be ambiguous and generate unrealistic expectations. Below are some examples of incentive motivation
- Financial rewards
- Job security
- Personal recognition
- Organizational recognition
Power motivation is about having influence and authority to act. Power is about being in control and with some individuals can lead to unfavorable outcomes. Below are some examples of power motivation.
- Ego gratification
- Power and control
- The ability to influence people or outcomes
- A job title
Attitude motivation is based on a set of beliefs, feelings, and values that drive different behaviors. People who are motivated by their attitude take a stance and that position is sometimes very difficult to change. Below are some examples of attitude motivation.
- Personal or corporate values
- A person’s perception of something
- What a person thinks about
- A desired result or outcome
Successful sellers are usually incentive or attitude motivated. When I use the term sellers it stands for fulltime salespeople and people who do some other job function like delivering a service or managing a group of people and, at the same time, are expected to sell. With that said, I have met some very successful sellers who were power motivated.
They just love feeding their egos by closing the deal. And, there is nothing wrong with just feeing good as an outcome of one’s actions. I also met a seller who was motivated by fear of success. If he closed too many deals in a given quarter he would have to increase his work hours in order to deliver what he sold.
Buyers on the other hand can be motivated by any of the motivators described above, and it is our job as sellers to discover the source of that motivation. We need to ask open-ended questions to get the information we need so we can help the buyer get what they want from a personal perspective. And, it is true that some motivators can be negative. Some motivators can inhibit or even stop sales success.
If we know that early in the sales cycle we can walk away and better manage our time. Think about it! Buyers who are fear motivated usually procrastinate about making a buying decision, and sometimes they never make a final buying decision.
Connecting the dots in this area has nothing to do with the product, the price, or industry presence. It is about sales and relationship superiority. It is about differentiating yourself as a seller from the competition. One of the largest sales I ever made was because I recognized that my contact was attitude motivated. He clearly knew the outcome he was looking for. It was well defined in his head and he had no problem articulating exactly what he wanted.
How did I obtain this information? Simple, I asked him this question during the first meeting. “Can you talk about your personal motivation for spending time with me to explore how we might work together now or in the future?”
Learn more about the author, Howard Dion.
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