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People don’t buy for the sake of owning a certain product or service. Rather, they buy because of the benefits they will receive as a result of owning that product or service. 

An example that has traditionally been used to illustrate this point, is that one year, a quarter of a million quarter-inch drills were sold, and not one person that bought a drill wanted a quarter-inch drill. Instead, they bought the drills because they wanted the benefits the drill could provide… a hole. 

People buy your products and services for the same reason… for the benefits those products or services provides. Ask the next 10 prospects you come in contact with if they want to buy the product or service you’re selling, and  chances are, you’ll receive a negative answer. 

There are many factors that influence people to react that way, and each person has his or her own reasons for doing so. Regardless of individual reasons, it’s a fact, that people don’t want  to buy products, and they often resent people trying to sell them.

People Buy For The Benefits

On the other hand, if you ask the same person that previously turned you down if they want the specific benefits the products or services you’re selling will provide them, you will most likely receive a positive answer. They may give you a hard time about the prices you are charging, but in most cases, the answer will be a “yes.”

People are not interested in products, but they are interested in the benefits the products will provide them. It makes sense then, that when you are making a presentation, that you don’t emphasize products. 

Rather, you should talk in terms of specific benefits, and how those benefits apply directly to the particular prospect in front of you at the time. 

As mentioned previously, each person is different, and each person has his or her own reasons for buying or not buying. And each person will buy for his or her own reasons – not yours or anyone else’s. 

If you try to sell them for any reason other than their own, you run the risk of turning them off or otherwise alienating them, which usually ends up destroying the sale you are trying to make, as well as any future sales. 

Trying to figure out why people make certain decisions can be a complicated, even frustrating process, at best. But an understanding of basic buying motives can make your job much easier.

7 Motives For Buying

Behavioral psychologists tell us there are seven basic motives that move a person to action – that cause them to buy. An understanding of these motives and how they apply to your customers and prospects at the time a buying decision is being made, can give you a tremendous advantage.

1. Desire For Gain Or Profit

Nobody likes to lose. People want something in return for their efforts and hard work. And the easier they can get it, the better. The success of the lottery games in various states bear testimony of people trying to find an easy way to get gain and profit. 

The products you sell, can help your customers realize their dreams for gain or profit, too. Your customers can and will invest in various types of products or services you sell – not to own them, per se, but in an effort to increase their profitability and the amount and value of their assets.

2. Fear Of Loss Or Need For Security

People will go to great lengths to prevent losing something. In an effort to protect their property, some people install security systems. 

Some people carry pepper spray, while others have resorted to carrying guns or other weapons to protect their person. 

Psychologists say that the fear of loss or the need for security is perhaps, the greatest of all the motives. 

If the products and services you sell can help protect your clients, their families or their businesses from loss, or if you can in someway increase their security, either at the present time or sometime in the future, you owe it to them to capitalize on that fact as much and as often as possible.

3. Pride Of Ownership Or Status

People want to be noticed and recognized.

They do it by the kinds of cars they drive, the clothes and jewelry they wear, the houses they live in, and the material things they possess. 

While people may buy because of the benefits, they like others to see the actual product. In some cases, it’s just another way to say, “Watch me! Watch me!”

4. An Interest In Doing Something Easier Or More Efficiently

We all want methods of doing things easier. One only has to look around his or her home to notice the abundance of time and/or moneysaving conveniences we all enjoy. 

What about your products or services? 

Do they somehow make a person’s job, or a business’ way of doing things easier or more efficient? 

And if they do, what are the direct and indirect benefits to your prospect or customer? 

Is this something you can capitalize on?

5. The Desire For Excitement Or Pleasure

A popular bumper sticker states…

“He who dies with the most toys wins.”

That message is a clear indication that people want excitement and pleasure. And it seems to suggest that pleasure comes in the “having,” rather than in the “getting.” It’s whomever has the most at the end that wins. 

But in reality, “excitement” and “pleasure,” for most people comes in the acquiring of things. 

Think back about the times you have worked hard to get something, and how excited you were in the process. 

But then, once you had whatever it was that you were working for, how the excitement was dulled. 

Sometimes it’s not the end result that counts as much as the process of acquiring. 

A more practical interpretation of the bumper sticker might read… 

“He who lives with the most toys wins!”

Of course, these applications have to do with “things.” Some people really enjoy acquiring “things,” and even keep score by how much they accumulate. 

Other people gain great pleasure or excitement knowing that their family’s future educational and livings needs, as well as retirement will be taken care of. 

Business owners like to know that their businesses are operating at peak efficiency and profitability, and are meeting the needs of their customers, and as a result, will be around for long time providing jobs and security for their employees and their families, as well as providing retirement funds for the owner when the business is sold.

6. Self Improvement Or An Increase In Effectiveness

People want and need to improve and to be able to do things more efficiently. 

Sometimes that involves taking risks with time or money. Not all risks have to be “risky.” Calculated risks based on well thought-out plans and outcomes are the safest way to go, and can contribute  greatly to the successful improvement in effectiveness and efficiency.

7. The Desire For Importance Or The Need To Be Appreciated

According to noted psychiatrist, Dr. Abraham Maslow, this is one of the basic needs of all humans; acceptance and appreciation. Children want to be accepted by their parents and peers, and parents want their children to remember them when they grow up and leave home. 

In his book, The Human Side of Enterprise, Douglas McGregor explains that workers are motivated more by “significant works,” and a feeling of being needed and appreciated, than by money. 

People want to make a difference, and be appreciated for it. Fathers and mothers not only have an obligation to see that their family’s futures are provided for, but they want their family to understand and appreciate their efforts. 

Business owners have an obligation to the people who buy from them, the employees who work for them, their employees’ families, the suppliers and the vendors who sell to them. Too often, each of those groups of people live with an attitude of expectancy and entitlement. That is, they expect that the business owner will take care of them. How much better it would be if more appreciation would be shown to those who make our lives better.

If the products or services you provide the marketplace can help make this possible, you may have an open ticket to success because of the great unsatisfied need that exists. 

If you understand these basic motives and how they apply to your business of selling your products and services, and then sell to the needs (both stated and unstated) of your customers and prospects, you will prosper. 

And if you are not prospering, it simply means you are have not uncovered your prospect’s and customer’s motives for buying. You are not addressing their specific needs. In most cases you can’t wait for your customers to tell you what they want. You have to be able to recognize their needs. 

Remember, you are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of your business. If you are doing it right or wrong, either way, the marketplace will let you know.

The Loyalty Of Customers

Customers make an interesting study. It seems that they always want the very most for the very least they’ll have to pay. They are ruthless, selfish, demanding and disloyal. 

You know the story. You’ve done business with someone for several years and they’ve been good customers. You’ve given them the best service possible and you think they are your customers for life. But then some little thing possibly out of your control goes wrong, or they see an ad or get a call from a competitor, someone they’ve never met before, with a slightly lower price, and the next thing you know, they are gone, oftentimes without a single word to you. 

At first you don’t notice it. But one day you realize that it’s been a while since you’ve seen or heard from that customer. When you find out what happened, you feel badly, because if they would have just called you, you might have been able to make a couple of changes and save the business. But it’s too late, they’re gone.

This scenario is repeated time and again with businesses owners from every company, who sell every type of product or service. It is going to happen. To pretend that it doesn’t, or won’t happen, is simply deceiving yourself. 

It’s incredible how many business owners just write off the loss of a good customer. But that’s not the thing you should do. Instead, now is the time to become even more proactive and go after that “lost” customer.

One of the best ways to minimize or cut down on the frequency of losing your good customers, is to resell them on the reasons they bought from you in the first place. Regularly scheduled meetings or conversations with your customers to remind them of their motives can go a long way in helping insulate your business from the competition. 

Remember, that your competition has similar products, services and prices. Also remember that your customer’s reasons for buying are only 35 percent based on those products, services, and prices. The other 65 percent is for what you can do for them

Spend the time with them. Review their needs, wants and concerns. Remind them why they bought from you in the first place. Reinforce their motives, and their decisions for buying, and you will reduce your customer defection rate and develop not only loyal customers, but friends, as well.