How to Address These 4 Buyer's Motive Categories

BY Rachel Cagle
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No matter how convincing or charming you are as a salesperson you are, you’ll never land a sale if you don’t cater your pitch to the buyer’s motive. Sure, selling yourself is a big part of sales, but at the end of the day, the success of your sale is based on how you can help your prospect.

However, your pitch shouldn’t be a generic, “Help me to help you.” You need to understand your buyer’s motive and personalize your pitch to focus on that motivation. Jay Fuchs, writing for HubSpot, says that motives usually fall into one of a few categories.

Buyer’s Motive Categories


This is definitely the most popular motive among your prospects. They have a need and you have a solution. What will ultimately sway their decision is how well your product or service meets all aspects of fulfilling this need. But don’t assume your prospect already knows everything about their need. “There are a few ways to capitalize on your buyer's needs,” says Fuchs, “and they generally hinge upon how aware they are of the full spectrum of potential issues that can stem from their situation.” So, after you become aware of the prospect’s need, review your potential solution with them, including related issues they may not have thought of that you can help solve, as well as what could happen if they put off solving their problem.


If your buyer’s motive is fear, your chances of success are usually pretty high. They may have been recently promoted, but found that, along with their predecessor’s increased salary, they also inherited a slew of detrimental problems the previous employees let go unchecked. They’re worried these problems could cost them the job they just earned, so they need to solve them ASAP. To be clear, while fear may be a powerful driver, you should never lean on scare tactics to convince a buyer to make a purchase from you. Your job is to provide a sense of comfort and reassurance to your stressed prospect. This reassurance should come in the form of a promise. Your product or service can solve your client’s problem, the one they know all about but haven’t had time to focus on yet.


Some people like to shoot for the stars. They entertain ideas about how much better they can make their company, or at least their department, and they’re willing to take the steps financially to help make this dream a reality. When your buyer’s motive is aspiration, you need to help fuel their dreams. “The key is to stress what they could be if they stay the course after their purchase,” says Fuchs. Center your pitch on what your product or service can do to help your prospect’s company now as well as the idea that it will improve business down the line.


Financial gain is another popular buyer’s motive, especially in times of economic unrest like we are currently experiencing. Your prospect can either be trying to save money or believe that the results they’re getting from their current provider could be better. If this is the case, your pitch should stress the high return on investment that your existing clients in the same industry as your prospect are experiencing thanks to your product or service. When it comes to money, prospects need fact-​based reassurance in order to make a good decision.