In addition to the primary desire to survive, there are six basic buying motives that are popularly accepted. These buying motives should be in the back of every salesperson’s mind during every sales effort. These buying motives are what drive the benefits that salespeople must emphasize in their sales efforts. The six basic buying motives are:
Profit or the Desire for Gain. (Save money; make money; economical; profit; thrift; getting a bargain; have money for other things; education.)
Fear of Loss. (Safety; protect property; protect health; ability to provide for loved ones; future security; save time; fear of not being able to afford things in the future; fear of not being able to keep up with inflation; prevent loss; long use.)
Pleasure. (Enjoyment; relaxation; convenience; comfort; ease; admiration from others; provide more for loved ones; luxury; good health; peace of mind; contentment; affection; become more attractive; beauty; save time; good food and drink; good housing; recreation.)
Avoidance of Pain. (Protection; relief of pain; security; less work; safety; good health; no worry.)
Pride. (Desire to possess; advance in skill; self-improvement; desire to succeed; ambition; style; high quality; latest fashion; prestige; status.)
Desire for Approval. (Social acceptance; affection; vanity; envy; learning; admiration; prestige; peer pressure; imitation.)
But, understanding the benefit is not enough. Sometimes the prospect will weigh all the satisfactions he will get from your product against all the satisfactions he will get from the same money spent in another way. Or several motives may compete in the prospect’s mind, and the strongest ones at the moment will win out. A prospect may agree that your product or service will help him, but the fear that the money spent will force him to cancel or postpone something else may overrule his willingness to buy. Yet at another time, that same prospect’s desire for pride can overrule his fear of loss.
If a salesperson can discover what the prospect really wants, and can direct his sales presentation accordingly, he has the key to the sale. We all know about the Golden Rule. But in sales, there is a more important rule – the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would have done unto them. By whatever means he can, a salesperson must determine which buying motives will have the greatest effect on the prospect’s decision to make the purchase, and which are strongest at the moment. Then he should stress the features, advantages, and benefits which will best encourage those motives.