We cant ignore the fact that we're all motivated by something. The area of motivation is both a wide and deep subject with many views and it fascinates me. I don't confess to be an expert but I am an observer. Being an observer has helped me to pay attention to trends, patterns and questions my clients ask that can and will inform how I serve them.
How often do you think about what motivates your customers to buy, act or ask questions?
The extent to which you know this will determine how fast or slow your sales cycle will be, the resistance you get to change and the level of influence you can command at different levels of your clients business.
We musn't be fooled by past success. When you first acquired the client there was a specific pain they wanted to get away from and you presented them with a better picture and solution. You did a great job helping them understand that and delivered a great service and result. Year two comes around and that same argument you used doesn't work as well. You may sell them the same amount or marginally more. Year three, it doesn't work at all in fact they buy less. What has changed?
Here's the key - Without a sense of urgency desire loses its value - Jim Rohn
How you look at new and existing customers will be different. I'm focusing on existing customers. Before you can create urgency you need to know what you want your customers to be urgent about and what urgency would look like for them. Example of this urgency could be a piece of legislation coming in which would mean the price of your product will go up for your customer and will mean higher implementation costs for their business. Acting now would make sense emotionally and logically. But, urgency is just one element of motivation.
There are many unseen motivation factors for our customers that we often don't recognise. Some of those motivating factors could be:
- Pressure to act from their business
- Maintaining budgets for the following year
- Status and prestige
- Fear and much more.
This tells us that not every client situation will have the same reasons or motivations to move. It's not as straightforward as pain and gain.
What do you think motivates your customers? how do you know? how do you find out? - you can't give your customers a motivation quiz although that would be helpful. You may not always get the opportunity to have a long conversation to explore.
I'd like to share a series of questions that will be counter intuitive to almost every key account training you will have been given. These will be questions to ask your customer and yourself. These questions will give you answers that matter. When you understand the environment in which your customer and your contacts make decisions you can cut through almost 80% of the motivational guess work. You'll discover their motivation and the big WHY that lies beneath. Here are few examples of these questions below.
- How does your customer deal with identified challenges in their business? - meaning what process do they use internally to figure out the best course of action?
- How much does the internal culture of the business inform or impact their decision making?
- On a scale of 1-10 (10 being very risk adverse) - How risk adverse do you believe your current customer and contacts are? How do you know? (what experiences could support this? What did you do? What was the outcome?)
- What is the one result they want most in their role and department? Why?
- Who are the most challenging people they have to deal with in their business? what is the impact and connection of that relationship?
I have a series of questions you can download for free HERE and an upcoming free webinar training for those on my list.
You may look at these questions and think, "I can't possibly ask these questions" or "I don't have the time". The answer to that is you don't have to ask your customer all of these questions. You can pick. Neither would I recommend you ask them in one call.
Regardless of where you begin these questions are designed to get you deeper into the mind of your customer, their working environment and motivation. All of the questions will send you deeper into the mind of your customers. If you take 15-20 min to do the exercise of considering these questions you'll become a master motivator of your customers.
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