8 years ago
April 13, 2016

3 Ways to Recognize a Prospect’s Motivators to Buy

Once you recognize prospect motivators to buy, you can better adjust your selling style to the buying style of the prospect.

Rhys Metler

It frequently seems as though no two prospects have the same motivators to buy, which can be frustrating for sales people at any stage in their careers. Yet although the motivators to buy might be phrased differently, the reality is that all prospect motivations come from the same sources. Once you recognize prospect motivators to buy, you can better adjust your selling style to the buying style of the prospect with whom you are working and act on the reasons for his or her inclination to buy.

1. Go Beyond the Issues to Discover the Prospect’s Objectives

Even if a prospect has not put his or her objectives into words, objectives are really what a prospect means when he or she talks about business issues. Using objectives as motivators to buy is effective because it allows you as the sales person to reframe your offering in terms of a concrete solution to clearly identified problems, and doing this can make further motivators to buy clear to the prospect in business terms of profit and loss. Turn issues into objectives by:

  • Encouraging the prospect to share business objectives with you. Not all prospects will drill down to objectives after having discussed the general problems without your prompting.
  • Uncovering the causes behind the problems the prospect’s business wants to solve. A problem such as a long manufacturing cycle on its own is difficult to solve unless you know the causes, such as line breakdowns and delays. Solving line breakdowns and delays would be an example of an objective to streamline the problem of a long manufacturing cycle.
  • Rephrasing the problems the prospect is having. For example, if the problem is high costs, an objective would be reducing costs below a certain threshold.

2. Analyze the Prospect’s Personality to Arrive at Motivators to Buy

Every prospect with whom you work buys differently and a large part of the reason for this is that personality influences the motivators to buy. If you have experience with relationship based selling this effect may already have occurred to you as a way to interest and engage your prospect, and it is important when recognizing motivators to buy as well. Here are some generalized examples of how personality influences the motivators to buy that a prospect will choose:

  • Results focused personalities. Results focused personalities are task driven and base decisions on hard data. The motivators to buy for these individuals must be based on facts and concrete information on how an offering will impact factors like productivity.
  • Social personalities. Social personalities look to develop relationships with others, and their motivators to buy will frequently be based on the recognition that making the right decision will generate. Social personalities also tend to make buying decisions based on emotion.
  • Analyzer personalities. Analyzers want to know all of the facts and all of the options before making a buying decision. If you are working with an analyzer it is likely that several competing offers are being entertained. The motivators to buy for an analyzer are rooted in the business case that you make to justify the contract.

3. Pay Close Attention to the Buying Timeline

A prospect’s motivators to buy are highly dependent on how pressing the need for a solution actually is. If you have reached a prospect who has an immediate problem that is impacting his or her business right now, that prospect’s motivators to buy are likely going to center on finding immediate results from a cost effective solution. On the other hand, a prospect who anticipates a future need will have motivators to buy that are more focused on ease of use, compatibility with existing solutions, and complimenting services. Always find out early in the sales cycle what the prospect’s time horizons are so that you can adjust your approach to finding the motivators to buy accordingly.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.