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Tips to Getting Inside Buyer Motivation

Tips to Getting Inside Buyer Motivation

Jonathan Farrington

You know, all meaningful actions are performed for some reason or purpose. This is commonly called motivation.

Success in selling requires understanding these basics of motivation:

  • Your motivation both as a person and as a salesperson
  • The other person’s motivation both as a person and as a buyer?
  • The most important fact to remember in influencing the behavior and decisions of others is that – people do things for their reasons, not ours.

    Every successful sale, then, is made not so much because of the excellence of your product or of your sales pitch, but because, consciously or unconsciously, you have found the human reason why your prospect should buy. You have found the door to their motivation and have opened it.

    The more you understand the function of human motivation, the more successfully you will sell.

    In its simplest form, motivation emerges as a cycle. It starts with a want or need, expressed or hidden. Inherent in this is a problem, a problem that must be overcome in order to satisfy the want, which must be solved. Once solved, the want can be satisfied and the cycle is completed.

    In terms of personal development there are several levels of needs. You will no doubt be familiar with Maslow’s pyramid of need:

    These needs are basic to everyone you sell to, live with, or encounter.

    At the bottom of the pyramid are the physiological needs. These include food, shelter, warmth, sex, and sleep. They are instinctive needs common to all living creatures. Until these needs are satisfied, the higher needs are purely academic.

    Then comes safety which is almost as basic. Security is another word for this need; security in one’s job, in one’s place in society, safety from unknown dangers, and freedom from pain.

    Love is a more sophisticated but no less essential need. Every human being wants others to care about them, to receive affection. They want to have the approval of others, to be understood, accepted, respected, and to belong. And equally important, they have a need to be involved, to care about and give affection to others. The two are inseparable.

    Self-esteem is equally essential. Every human being needs to feel that they are important in some sphere of life; that their presence on earth has meaning and significance. The mature person knows that this begins with self-respect. This need provides a tremendous motivational force.

    Self-actualization is the highest need: for personal growth and achievement, for self-fulfillment, the best use of one’s capabilities, the fullest possible realization of potential, within an honest understanding both of the limitations and scope of that potential.

    People, of course, are different. Their needs will vary in degree, in shape, and in the nature of their answers. But they are common to all.

    As you are alert to them, as you understand them, so will your success with others be measured.

    How do people seek to satisfy their needs? Thorndike’s “Law of Effect” supplies the answer:

    “People tend to behave in a way to gain rewards and avoid punishment”


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