Every successful sale is made not so much because of the excellence of our product or of our sales pitch, but because consciously or unconsciously, we have found the human reason why our prospect should buy; we have found the door to their motivation and have opened it. The more we understand the function of human motivation, the more successfully we will sell.
In its simplest form, motivation emerges as a cycle. It starts with a want or need, expressed or hidden. Inherent in this is a problem; a problem that must be overcome in order to satisfy the want that must be solved. Once solved, the want can be satisfied and the cycle is completed.
In terms of personal development there are several levels of needs. You will no doubt be familiar with Maslow's pyramid of need:
These needs are basic to everyone you sell to, live with, or encounter.
At the bottom of the pyramid are The Physiological Needs. These include food, shelter, warmth, sex and sleep. They are instinctive needs common to all living creatures. Until these needs are satisfied, the higher needs are purely academic.
Then comes Safety which is almost as basic. Security is another word for this need: security in one's job, in one's place in society...safety from unknown dangers...freedom from pain.
Love is a more sophisticated but no less essential need. Every human being wants others to care about them, to receive affection.
They want to have the approval of others...to be understood...accepted...respected...to belong. And equally important, they have a need to be involved...to care about and give affection to others. The two are inseparable.
Self-esteem is equally essential. Every human being needs to feel that they are important in some sphere of life...that their presence on earth has meaning and significance. The mature person knows that this begins with self-respect. This need provides a tremendous motivational force.
Self-actualization is the highest need: for personal growth and achievement, for self-fulfilment, the best use of one's capabilities, the fullest possible realisation of potential, within an honest understanding both of the limitations and scope of that potential.
People of course, are different. Their needs will vary in degree, in shape, and in the nature of their answers. But they are common to all. As you are alert to them, as you understand them, so will your success with others be measured.
How do people seek to satisfy their needs? Thorndike's "Law Of Effect" supplies the answer:
"People tend to behave in a way to gain rewards and avoid punishment."
Again, this varies with different people. Generally, people can be classified into three dominant types:
• The Achiever
• The Seeker of Social Recognition
• The Security-Minded
(But no one is likely to be a "pure" type)
The Achiever is most likely to be oriented toward gaining rewards.
The Security-Minded is likely to be dominated by the desire to avoid punishment.
The Social Type stands somewhere between the two.
These are the dominating factors. But in varying degrees, each has a little of the other two in them. In terms of selling, whatever the dominant drive of your prospect, they are above all, buying benefits. Benefits are best defined, in this context, as the results of the product, which enable them to gain rewards and/or avoid punishment.
In making their decision, the buyer uses the "Minimax" principle: To minimise their losses; to maximise their gains. This is true whatever the personality orientation. The emphasis depends again on their individual motivational drive.
"The Law of Effect", then - depending on specific motivation - relates directly to the "Pyramid of Human Needs", and expands in this manner:
The benefits you have to offer are both negative and positive. The right emphasis, directed in the right way, offering both to determine preference is your shortest way to your objective.
In summary, according to Russell: "The essence of motivation is finding meaning in what we are doing. Motivation is an inner control of the individual." Only you can motivate yourself.
All these concepts apply to you in all phases of your life, and your work, as well as they apply to others.
Finding the right meaning in what you do will be the great motivator for a more effective you.
Understanding the nature of what motivates each person you deal with will enable you to help them make a decision favourable to both of you.
To understand more about motivation, you may also enjoy: "Motivation - Moving Beyond The Carrot & Stick Theory"
Today's News: Tibor Shanto - a fellow member of the Top Sales Experts team - has produced an excellent new white paper: "Above the Pipe! Part One: Three Must Haves for Prospecting Success" and here is an extract from the Introduction:
"In every profession there are usually some fundamentals that so basic to success, that when stated they seem so obvious and trivial. Yet often it is these basic things that differentiate the good from the great. In sales one of the fundamentals is prospecting, defined as the act of sourcing and brining opportunities in to the sales process which is described as the funnel or the pipeline. No matter how great a sales professional one is, in B2B sales you need prospects to succeed, and in most B2B sales you need to proactively seek out those prospects as the usually do not show up at your door.
But prospecting or filling the pipeline, or whatever label you put on it, seems to be a consistent area in need of development with most B2B sales teams. Most times, sales reps will tell
you that once they are in front of a prospect they can sell them, it the "getting in front of" piece that is missing. Yet most organizations continue to train their sales teams on managing opportunities in the pipeline, consultative, professional or solutions selling skills, yet they over look key areas above the pipeline.
This is the first of a number of white papers dealing with maximizing sales results by focusing Above the Pipe!
This document is not about cold calling or the virtues of cold calling, although we will say we have a bias towards approaching leads using a proactive regiment that combines telephone and e-mail to reach potential prospects. We have yet to see anything other than an introduction be more time or cost effective."
You can download the paper here
Finally, a couple of excellent blog posts for you:From Paul McCord - "Turning Worthless "Referrals" Into Real Clients"
And from Ardath Albee "Inactive Leads - Keep Or Purge?"
Tomorrow: On The JF Guest Author Spot, Cheryl Clausen makes a welcome return.
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