The Motivation to Buy

by smartamarketing

Dr. Brian Monger

A sale is made when somebody decides to buy – decides that what is proposed satisfies his/her need, or will benefit him/her in some way that he/she does not now enjoy.

Why do people buy? What makes them say yes to some salesmen and no to others? What makes them like some products better than others? Why do people behave as they do?

If marketers could only know in advance of each call what the answers to these, and similar questions, would be, then their task of selling would be much easier.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict people’s buying behaviour, and this is the main reason why so much skill is required in marketing. However, there has been much research in the behavioural fields on why people act as they do and from this we are able to see a general pattern of buying behaviour.

All of us are moved by motives and urges

What is Motivation?

1. Motivation can be described as the driving force within individuals that impels them to action.

2. This driving force is produced by a state of tension, which exists as the result of an unfilled need.

3. The specific courses of action that consumers pursue and their specific goals are selected on the basis of their thinking process and previous learning.

II. Needs

1. Every individual has needs: some are innate others are acquired.

2. Innate needs are physiological or biogenic, and include food, water, air, clothing, shelter, and sex.

3. These needs (innate) are considered primary needs or motives.

4. Acquired needs are needs that we learn in response to our culture or environment, and include the need for self-esteem, prestige, affection, power, and for learning.

5. These needs (acquired) are considered secondary needs of motives.

When asked to buy something, a person is confronted with a problem which he/she needs to interpret and resolve. Frequently he/she overcomes the problem (either personal or business) by making a buying decision.

Actually, the sale takes place in the mind of the buyer – it is the buyer’s viewpoint and the satisfactory resolution of his/her buying problem that concerns the marketer.

Often the solution to the problem can be attractive and unattractive at the same time. It may involve the choice between two attractive courses of behaviour or it may involve choosing between two unattractive things.

The marketer’s task is to assist the prospect to resolve his/her problem.

For some the solving of problems, or making decisions, is relatively easy, while for others even a minor decision causes tension and worry.

It is important for the salesperson to appreciate that the higher the tension the more irrational the prospect becomes, and the less likely he/she is to follow the logic of the salesperson’s story.

People generally will not make a buying decision until they are satisfied in their own minds that the benefits they will derive from the product outweigh the costs to themselves.

Marketing and especially selling therefore, is concerned with reducing buyer tensions, and assisting the prospect to identify his needs through the products and services offered.

People buy for basic reasons and, like all selling fundamentals, the reasons are simple and clear-cut. Look at the list below. Not advanced technical terms but simple everyday words. Like all simple things we tend to overlook them but every sale you ever make will be made because your proposition appeals strongly in one or more of these aspects:

• Profit, gain or economy/savings
• Design or appearance
• Pleasure, comfort and pain avoidance (physical and emotional)
• Safety or security
• Convenience
• Love and affection
• Sex appeal
• Social approval
• Pride, prestige/status
• Speed of Operation
• Ease of Operation
• Compatibility with Present System
• Availability/Delivery Speed
• Absolute Price/Price Flexibility
• Service/maintenance support/Software support
• Broad Line of Equipment Supplier Stability
• Competence of Personnel
• Personal Interaction – Liking
• Personal relevance
• Situational factors/Immediacy
• Curiosity/Discovery
• Creativity
• Exclusivity
• Empathy with brand
• Consistency of Delivered Value
• Performance/dependability/ Reliability of Operation
• Reliability of supply
• Environmental concerns

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

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