What motivates a buyer? Whether dealing with a consumer buying basic living needs or somebody purchasing a large piece of capital, what truly motivates buying decisions? Motivation can typically be categorized in terms of Extrinsic (External) or Intrinsic (Internal), and though we often think of this in the context of performance, there are also many parallels in terms of what it might mean for a potential buyer.
Extrinsic Motivation is primarily driven by a logical justification. In performance it is reward and for a buyer this translates to how much does it cost, what is the technical specification, how long will it last, what happens if something goes wrong, etc? Intrinsic Motivation is much more influenced by an emotional rationale. Again in performance the parallel is recognition, and so for a buyer this equates will it make me feel good, do I trust the salesperson, what will others think about it, do I like the look of it, etc?
Let’s consider purchasing a car which for most is quite a considerable monetary investment. You will be influenced by the price, make, size, safety, and perhaps service capabilities – often information you can access online before even entering a dealership. These are all very important things to know but alone these will not finalize your decision. Then you walk into a dealership and everything changes. Suddenly some of the rational thinking is superseded by the demeanor of the salesperson and how they make you feel. You will also be thinking, what does this vehicle say about me (successful or not), what will my friends think, does it feel good when you sit inside and then experience the drive? Though the extrinsic component is important and perhaps initiates the process, the intrinsic is essentially in terms of the final, and hugely critical, decision making piece.
Many would argue we justify logically but we actually make decisions on emotion. So as you consider your role as a salesperson selling a product or a manger selling an idea, consider the intrinsic or emotional strings that need to be pulled in order to gain a commitment from the other person. It will help close that deal.