• Do you allow salespeople to snow you with flattery?

    22 Mar 2019 | 12:00 am

    King David wrote, "With flattering lips...they speak" (Psalm 12:2 NASB). Among salespeople who call on our business, an old tactic is to flatter us with our importance, the success of the business, or what great businesspersons we are. Don't let[…]


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Jun 01

Understanding Buyers’ Motivations

Posted by: Steve Marr

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In our businesses we need to understand why a customer clicks to buy on their computer or picks up a product and buys it in a store. I understand why I make purchases, but I'm not everyone. I need to understand what motivates my customers to buy. This is not easy.

I am involved in a damage restoration business.  The motivation of the customer is pretty obvious.  A sewer backup pushed water into the bathroom, into the molding, wall and into the bedroom carpet. The customer’s motivation is to get the problem cleaned up as quickly as possible. Closing the sale is not difficult if you are the first one to connect to the customer with a good solution.


In other businesses I advise prospective business owners to determine the top three reasons a customer buys a product or uses a service. They must develop hard data beyond what they think or what people have told them. Careful investigation like that can take several months and require 10 to 20 hours a week of research. It involves checking websites, reading publications and books and attending seminars.  

New car salesmen are well trained to quickly understand the motivation of each buyer, play to that motivation, and move toward a closed sale. This is why I believe people need to be careful when they walk into a car dealership. However, it points to every business owner’s need to develop a similar understanding of their customers.

In the damage restoration business, to meet the customer's motivation; our company must be the one that is able to arrive first with the proper equipment and mitigate the damage as quickly as possible. Timely response motivates our buyer to purchase.

An effective real estate agent understands how emotion is a key motivator of a person who wants to buy a house or property. Successful agents get to know their clients and what might motivate them to sign a purchase offer. 

In the same way, a dog breeder needs to understand the different motivations of a person who wants a dog  What motivates a person to buy a poodle is different from the motivation of someone looking for a Rottweiler. I had a friend who showed dogs and won a number of championship ribbons. They showed at the major dog show in New York that you may have seen on television. When they were looking for a dog, they had the mother dog x-rayed so they could see how the puppies were developing in the womb before they offered to buy the dog. Obviously the motivation of this buyer was very different from one who just wanted a pet to keep around the house.

You need to spend significant time in your business to help you understand the motivation of your customers’ buying habits and how they interact with the market. King Solomon wrote, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” (Proverbs 20:5, ESV) In our businesses we need to work diligently to take every step necessary to understand the purchaser’s heart and motivation.  Then we must target our marketing and advertising to that motivation in an effort to make sales.

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