People Buy Because . . .

. . . they are being motivated by something.

We sell to people. People buy what we sell.   That’s how it works.  Why people buy, now that isn’t so simple.   To sell whatever it is you are selling requires you know what is motivating the buyer/the person.

1) People buy for financial reasons, they or the company are trying to save money, make money, improve earnings per share, or reduce costs.  Financial motivations are the most common and are what most of us focus on.

2) People buy for operational or ease of use reasons, they or the company are trying to make the life of doers easier, simplify a process, reduce work load, or get out of work.  When I pay someone to mow my lawn, my motivation is; I’m just too lazy and want someone to make my life easier.

3) People buy for emotional or political reasons, they are looking to get a promotion, be perceived as the hero or indispensable.  Emotional or political motivations can often trump the financial impacts or costs.   Luxury goods are an example of an emotional buy.   Buying a Ferrari is all emotional.  The buyer has a vision of how they will “FEEL” once they’ve bought the car.   Emotional and political motivations are often missed and over-looked.  We assume people make logical decisions.  That is a bad assumption.

4) People buy for the future or for strategic reasons, they see that they can’t keep going the way they are going or there is an opportunity in the future and buy to capitalize on that future state.  Spending on strategic initiatives, mergers and acquisitions, training etc are examples.  Strategic motivations supersede the tactical.  They have big impact.

5) People buy for philosophical reasons. They are motivated by their moral compass or the companies culture.  They  are motivated by rules, beliefs or philosophies.  A good example of philosophical motivations is the environment.  It won’t matter how cheap your product or service is or how well it works.  If it isn’t green they ain’t buying.

Multiple motivations can be present at one time.  People are complex.  Understanding which motivations are present, and which is at the top is key. Every buying decision is driven by motive.  Knowing what the motive is and selling to it is the only way a sale is made.

One of my favorite questions to my team is; “Why are they buying?”  It helps me determine if the team understands the motivation.

People buy because they are being motivated to do something.  Know the motivation and then help them make it a reality.  Everyone loves it when they get what they want.

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