Buying Motives: What They Are and How They Can Help You
Before you can understand how to use buying motives to your advantage to get more sales and increase your revenue, let’s begin by defining exactly just what a buying motive is.
Buying Motive Definition:
What is a buying motive? It’s the desire for a customer to satisfy his or her urge to obtain a product a service. It doesn’t matter what someone’s buying- every purchase has a buying motive behind it. Buying motives and their uses in personal selling are vital to increasing one’s sales revenue. The best salespeople in the world take advantage of people’s buying motives by tapping into the emotions and thoughts that make people desire their service or goods. Buyers never buy exclusively because they’ve been influenced by a salesperson, they buy because that salesperson triggered the desire of customers to go ahead and make a purchase.
Keep in mind that a buying motive is completely separate from an instinct. The motive is the reason a person chose to do what they did, in this case, make a purchase. An instinct is the opposite, in which freewill has nothing to do with the decision. An instinct is pre-programmed and automatic. For example, thirst is an instinct; however, someone’s desire to drink a can of their favorite fancy sparkling water is a buying motive.
There are two types of buying motives when it comes to selling: emotional buying motives and rational buying motives. Let’s go over emotional buying motives first. It’s the instance in which a customer makes a purchasing decision not based on logic, reason, facts, etc.; instead, they are buying based on their emotional investment to the product.
Buying Motives That Are Emotional
Here are the main factors for a customer’s emotion-based buying motives:
Being prideful is the number one buying motive across any industry. Most people take pride in their possessions. For example, think how prideful someone feels when they drive off the luxury car lot with their shiny and new car. That person probably feels that the brand of the luxury car makes him or her stand out or seem prestigious. This is pride. And it doesn’t take a brand new Mercedes for the consumer to have it. People have this same mentality about all products and services.
Imitating other people is one of the top buying motives. Just like pride is rooted in human nature, so too, is conformity. If a person sees their neighbor with a brand new luxury car, he or she may desire to measure up to the social standard that his or her neighbor has set.
One’s affection for other people in his or her life, such as love, is another common emotional buying motive. Customers simply want to provide for the people in their life that they care about, such as their significant other or children. Products of all types are bought due to affection. For example, parents might buy their son or daughter a new luxury car instead of a more unattractive, older car due to love and affection.
The want or need to live a comfortable life is a key emotional buying motive. Think of all the products you use every day that give you comfort: beds, blankets, house cleaner, washing machines, etc. All of these satisfy the customer buying motive by making people feel comfortable.
Sex sells. It’s that simple. And it’s one of the key emotional buying motives. Just think how many million units of mouth wash wouldn’t sell if people didn’t feel the need to be seen as attractive to others.
Seeking achievement and checking off one’s list of objectives and goals is another top emotional motive. Just think of all the products and services that a college student needs to achieve his or her goal of graduating with a degree. Ambition sells.
The desire to stand out and appear unique is a crucial emotional buying motive. Just imagine how many dollars the fashion industry would lose per year if no one had a desire to express themselves with their clothing. It doesn’t have to be clothes, but almost everybody wants to stand out, in some shape or form.
People want things in their lives that will give them pleasure. For example, almost everybody enjoys streaming programs on their televisions. This means their buying motive, pleasure, is carried out whenever they subscribe to a streaming service, buy a television, or buy a device that can connect to the television.
Everybody has to eat and drink to live. Sure, it’s an instinct, but it can also be an emotional buying motive.
Just think of how many products are purchased out of habit. Alcohol, tobacco, etc. are all bought because people are used to buying them and may suffer emotionally if they suddenly stopped buying them.
Buying Motives That Are Rational:
A rational buying motive differs from an emotional buying motive due to the customer applying logical thought before making a purchasing decision; thus, the person has been influenced to buy based on rationality instead of emotion. Here are the main rational buying motives:
This is one of the most crucial rational buying motives. Everybody wants to feel safe and secure—and, as a result, everybody will make purchases to ensure safety for themselves and their families. Even a multivitamin is purchased with this buying motive in mind, so that someone can protect his or her body and feel healthy.
The notion of reducing operating costs is a vital factor when it comes to rational buying motives. For example, the average person is going to make a rational decision to purchase a cheaper car than a Rolls Royce.
Most rational buyers have a motive to compare pricing among different companies and go with one of the cheaper options; however, that doesn’t mean the person can’t be persuaded to spend money.
Rational customers desire products that are appropriate for their needs. For example, someone in need of a couch who lives in a studio apartment isn’t going to consider buying a giant L-shaped couch that can fit seven people.
Consumers are generally enthusiastic about products that can serve their needs in more than one specific area. For example, this is why desktop computer sales have decreased, whereas, tablet and laptop sales have remained strong.
The ability to withstand wear and tear is a major selling point for rational buyers. For example, an intelligent person should want to purchase a computer that will last for years, versus the very cheapest, outdated model available that may be too slow to use a year later.
Rational buyers are drawn to products that offer convenience. If they feel that the product or service saves them time, then they are much more likely to make a purchase.
You’ve just read about a lot of different buying motives; however, don’t be intimidated. Sometimes it’s best for a salesperson to follow his or her intuition to determine buying motives. Here is a more generalized list of buying motives to keep in mind. It may help you to categorize prospective buyers into one of the following six categories when you’re trying to make a sale.
Six of the Most Common Buying Motives
How to Determine the Buying Motive
Here are some strategies to assist you in figuring out which buying motive applies to your prospect.
1) Ask the prospect questions.
When it comes to getting sales, it’s often best to be upfront. You never know what the prospect has in mind until you ask. “If I could help you save money on your phone bill every month, would this be of help you?”
2) Look for comments that are volunteered.
Say your prospect tells you, “My wife wishes we had more time to go to the beach,” well, you could bring up how your product saves people time so that the person can have more quality time with his wife.
3) Pay attention to details.
Prospects will clue you in on what their needs and wants, AKA buying motives, are. You just have to listen closely to them. For example, say a prospect asks you, “Does it come in a different color?” This question implies that the prospect values appearance and wants to impress other people. You can then describe other reasons as to why the product will look great in his or her home.
4) Be observant.
Think about buying motives whenever you talk to your prospects. The more you apply the concepts from this article, the faster you learn buying motives. And then you will be more likely to quickly determine what the buyer wants and make your sale.
What are the best buying motives that will give you the most sales? That’s for you to determine, depending on your industry. The buying motives of a consumer will vary. Everyone is a buyer. The faster you figure out the motivations of your buyers, the faster you will be able to make more sales.