Three Buying Motives Of The Modern-Day Buyer

Selling today is all about recognising the true motivations of buyers and aligning your presentation/solution to match their needs and desires. We all know that.

So, with an up-to-date buyer, who has little in the way of time and resources to spend, what do we need to do to assist them to make a decision to choose us and our offering?

Well, our research has shown that there are probably a small number of over-riding drivers to decision-making that affect the majority of purchasers. We recognise that these will be used in different levels and amounts by each person, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach that can be taken.

But if we realise that most buyers tend to be influenced by these specific drivers, we can align what we say and do to match these ways of thinking.

In the modern-day buyer’s mind, what are the major factors that influence their decisions? And how can we mirror them so the buyer feels we are the best choice for them?

Firstly, and naturally, it’s Money.

But in a slightly different way to how you might have anticipated it.

Most salespeople think that when a buyer asks for a discount or a lower price, it’s because they don’t see the value in your product or service. However, it goes down to a deeper level than that. We have to remember that most of our B2B buyers want a lower price because:

1) They want to get more repeat business from their customers

2) They want to offer something better than their competition

So their rationale in asking for a lower price may revolve around their ability to offer their customers a better deal. And the reason for that could be they are looking for greater profits themselves.

The way to discuss this with the prospect is to confirm the real reason why they want a lower price from you. Sometimes it may be they simply want to get a good deal. But it probably really means they want to have lower costs so they can pass the savings onto their customers and beat their competition while making more profit themselves.

So the underlying reason is for them to make more money.

This enables you to highlight the benefits and advantages of your products and services that will enable your prospect to prosper. Discuss how you can help him to improve his profitability. Point out the benefits over the competition’s offerings that will make his company look good. Determine how your back-up and warranties will build long-term loyalty and allow your prospect to gain more from existing and new customers.

Always determine the real reason behind the request for price reduction. Most times it will be to enable the prospect to make more profits, and that ultimate goal could be achieved in different ways than simply by reducing your prices.

Secondly, a buying influencer may be Reduced Risk.

What I mean by this is that they may want to have greater confidence they won’t miss their deadlines with their customers. It could be they want greater confidence that the products they offer will actually do what they promise they will do. And they want to give their customers more reasons to use them, so their reputation increases and they become more attractive to new clients.

So, one of the areas you can highlight could be how your products and services reduce the risks they have to take in their market-place. This will give them more confidence and peace of mind when they sell. Don’t underestimate the power of risk reduction.

Another key component in decision-making may be Time.

If you are able to offer confidence to your prospect that you will be able to deliver on time, there will be less time spent by them on worrying about customer complaints and issues of inventories.

It will also give them confidence that the value of dealing with you is greater because they can trust your promises and can get on with what they do best, without worrying about what’s happening in the background.

Remember, then, to concentrate on these three key buying motives (Money, Risk Reduction and Time) so that you match the needs and desires of your prospects and don’t get dragged in to surface-level debates about costs and other incidentals that hide the real reasons why they may be buying from you.

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by Stuart Miles at

People Buy For Reasons, Not For Logic

The challenge is often raised – “if we know why people buy we would always sell to them!” We talk about “buying triggers” and we use plenty of related jargon to talk about the moment at which people buy something, the reasons people buy something and what we can do to influence it. It is possible to apply logic but logic has a funny way of being by-passed when people are involved.


The theorists amongst will always try to apply logic and theory and they might get it right some of the time, but the likelihood is their application of theory and logic will occasionally meet with the ‘order placer’ making them the ‘order taker’ rather than the influential, consultative sales expert.

Arguably, there is always a ‘moment’ and therefore a ‘trigger’. Something ticks the box for the buyer, and when added to all the other ticks on the list of ticks and crosses, the equation adds up to a sale being made.

The opportunity for those of us in sales is to recognise and influence how, when and why the boxes will be ticked and the trigger triggered!

Key Element

A key element and critical success factor will always be the skills we apply to ‘understanding the buyer’. Too much talk in sales is about us, our approaches, our skills, the models we apply, the selling methods we prefer, the beliefs we carry about how to sell. The models drilled into us can result in a lack of real pro-active listening and real empathising with and aligning to the buyer. Must build rapport, must ask open questions, must elicit needs, must present features and benefits, must answer objections in a set way – so much focus on us and what we do, say, present, project – our image, the impression we create. What about the buyer? Oh yes, the buyer, we almost forgot they were still here!

Understanding The Buyer

A great concept! How about taking a journey from feeling comfortable in our shoes to feeling uncomfortable in their shoes? Walking a mile in the buyer’s shoes. Experiencing their world, their pain, their issues and their opportunities. How about giving them open space to express themselves and give us everything we could possibly need to propose a relevant, meaningful and valuable solution? A huge plethora of information and tools exist for us to use to ‘understand our buyer’ and how they think, feel, speak etc. An investment of time in reading some of the well-known models and systems can result in significant payoff for the seller. The ultimate payoff for us is our ability to match our language – spoken and unspoken – to theirs, and when we match, we sell. When we miss-match we don’t!

So… let’s apply our understanding of our buyers to the reasons why people buy. Every buyer goes through an emotional journey – note – emotional rather than logical. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about buying a toothbrush or our next car or home; the journey is always the same – no exceptions. The premise is, if we know the journey and we know where people are on the journey, we can assist them to complete it by making a purchase – simple!

 So…. What Is The Journey?

  • Interest aroused
  • Need established / no need
  • Knowledge added to
  • Suitability appreciated
  • Desire increased / decreased
  • Cost considered
  • Means established
  • Value accepted / rejected
  • Outside influence / family, friend, colleague
  • Gap created – life now incomplete without it
  • Buying process made easy
  • Offer / discount / added value appreciated
  • Sale triggered

Known as INK purchasing psychology an applicable regardless of what we buy. Try the toothbrush test, try something you recently purchased, try something you’re considering right now. It fits doesn’t it?!

The title was… people buy for a reason not logic. The bullet points above give you the reasons, the challenge is, which of the steps can you influence and how can you best influence them so that the buyer completes the journey with you?

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by Ambro at

How Digital Influence Affects The Way Your Customers Buy

You don’t need me to tell you that we need to increase and improve our customers’ experiences for them to develop loyalty and advocacy to our businesses. Depending too much on new customers rather than selling more to existing ones is a sure-fire way to send yourself into oblivion.

Customer experiences are the new way to measure success in sales. They provide the foundation for everything else we build on. So what is the impact on people when they share experiences with others? How important is the measurement of their experience and how influential are people’s views?

Understanding how your customer thinks is the only way you can develop meaningful sales strategies. It also helps you to inspire a vision for what their overall experience could and should be. It helps you identify what your brand image should be now and in the future. And it will show you opportunities to determine where and how you can create value, deal with expectations and build activities that will drive further experiences and bring benefits to your business.

The digital age and social media has brought to the surface the specific ways that people buy today. A recent survey by Crowdtap has shown how the influence of peers has catapulted that particular medium of choice to the  top fo the list of factors determining what and how we buy. Their ‘Power of Peer Influence’ showed the top ten influence factors on how people make decisions today.

The question was: What influences your buying decision? The percentage of people who completely or somewhat trusted the source were: (top ten answers)

92%…..Recommendations from people I know

70%…..Consumer opinions from people online

58%…..Editorial comments

58%…..Branded websites

50%…..Emails I signed up for

47%…..Ads on TV

47%…..Brand sponsorship

47%…..Ads in magazines

47%…..Billboards and ads outdoors

46%…..Ads in newspapers

This 2012 survey shows 92% of people surveyed were influenced by the opinions of people they know. 70% of people stated that they were affected by people’s opinions online.

This Crowdtap survey showed that:

*    70% of people were influenced online.

*    61% were influenced by word-of-mouth, either in person or on the phone.

*    59% were influenced by reading an article online (blogs, reviews, youtube videos, etc)

Your job, then, is to ensure your business keeps up to date with the dynamism that the market is showing. You have to move faster than your prospects and customers in order to define and lead customer experiences.

(Source: The Power of Peer Influence:

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

Image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul at

What The Modern-Day Buyer Is Telling You – If Only You Would Listen!

We’ve said it many times and it deserves repetition…

Most salespeople sell today as they did yesterday, to buyers who don’t exist anymore.

The sales techniques that are still being taught by sales managers (and many training companies) put the emphasis on how to sell…the processes and techniques that get you in front of a prospect, how to overcome objections and how to hammer a ‘yes’ out of the prospect as you try to close.

However, today’s buyer is sending you messages loud and clear – if only you would stop trying to sell your stuff and actually listen!

Here’s our take on how salespeople and customers differ in their approach and their thought patterns:

1) Salespeople sell the exact opposite way their customers are buying. They position their offering for gain, opportunity, success and benefit; and their customers are buying for fear, loss, insecurity and pain.

2) Salespeople position their offerings logically and rationally and their customers are buying emotionally and intuitively. Salespeople spend all their time talking about the products and services they offer and their customer is thinking about outcomes and results in the future.

3) Salespeople must learn how to differentiate themselves by how they sell, not what they sell. Yet most salespeople look the same and act the same. so they ‘commoditise’ themselves and their offering.

So, what should you do to show you’re really listening to needs, wants and desires?

Firstly, differentiate yourself through the quality of your engagement. What this requires is that you don’t even think about your product or service when you start working with your prospect. At this point, you don’t know what their requirements are, so you can’t prescribe any answers.

Then, build confidence in you by showing you understand the prospect’s position. Again, this has nothing to do with your solution. Identify the real problems your client is facing. Let’s face it…if they could solve the situation themselves, you wouldn’t be there!

Then, create a need to change the situation now. You do this by accentuating the pain of not changing. This shows that you have listened to the prospect’s dilemma (the disonance between where they are now and where they want to be) and have clarity on what the situation is now, and what would happen if they didn’t change.

Finally, show you care by summarising the current position and identifying the value to the prospect of what the changes would mean to them and their business. This confirms that you have really listened and, more importantly, understood the changes the prospect needs to go through.

So, what are they really telling you?

* They don’t want you to sell them your stuff

* They want you to be a business partner who understands their business

* They want you to appreciate their current position and the pain it’s causing them

* They want you to help them grab opportunities for future benefits

* They want you to make it easy for them to change their current situation

Listening to the prospect is a skill that can be developed. It takes concentration, focus and the ability to not jump to conclusions. It requires patience, dedication and a willingness to put your solutions on teh back burner. Do it properly, and you’ll find you learn an awful lot of things you might have missed before.

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Happy selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by Nattavut at


How The Social Media Movement Has Changed The Face Of Selling

I have spoken many times on this blog about how the sales process has changed, and that the modern day buyer now makes their purchasing decisions in a completely different way to their predecessors. Modern day buyers are much more sales savvy than before, and are able to find out everything they need to know to help them make a purchasing decision before they’ve even contacted a potential supplier or spoken to a sales person.

The sales landscape is changing, and sales professionals need to move with the times in order to stay on top. Talking you through all of the ways in which the sales process and the modern day buyer has changed, and explaining how you need to change the way you approach a sale with the modern day buyer in order to close more sales, could be very time consuming – so instead I thought I would give you a quick visual tour through the complexities of the modern day buyer’s behaviour and show you the effect the Internet and social media has had on the traditional sales process.

Our infographic below will give you a whistle stop tour of how the Internet has changed the way that people buy, and show you exactly why we as sales professionals need to change the way that we sell.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by MTD Sales Training, Copyright 2012)