Make your own free website on

Customer Motivators

Overview of this course





As ambassadors of our clients, their products and services, Merchants TCs are fundamental to the success of any operation. They are the first points of contact between our clients and their prospective customers and the image projected by them is crucial to any future dealings between the parties.

Everyone is a consumer and purchasing decisions are being made by us all constantly – which brand of petrol shall we buy, who will cut our hair, what shall we buy for dinner – everything we have and use is there because of a decision to buy.

However, is every purchasing decision based on the same motivating factor? Would we buy a new sports car for the same reason as we bought a pint of milk? Of course, the answer is no! There are several motivating factors behind any purchasing decision and the purpose of this session is to identify and understand the factors which influence people to buy and to use this information to become more effective communicators in our dealings with client customers.

Target audience of this course




TCs on sales operations, TCs on operations where selling up or selling on opportunities exist.





To use a new understanding of the different motivating factors in a purchasing decision to build sales skills and persuasive techniques in order that TCs can gain maximum value from their dialogue with client customers.


Key learning points




Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Course length




1 hour 15 minutes

Trainer requirements




OHPs ‘Why People Buy’ 1 and 2

Copies of Workbook pages ‘Why People Buy’


Accreditation procedure




Session activity

Round robin quiz







Introduce the session using the introduction on page one


Stimulate discussion




Stimulate discussion by asking questions around what made delegates buy certain articles they have brought to the session (or are wearing)



Question to delegates




Ask delegates what would motivate someone to buy…..

  • A tie
  • A loaf of bread
  • A sports car
  • Insurance
  • An original Van Gogh

Use a flip chart to capture answers from the delegates.


Question to delegates




Ask delegates what their views are about whether or not these reasons are falling into certain categories. Are there particular types of needs, which we need to identify in order that we can maximise our impact in a customer value management capacity.


Present OHP 1




Present OHP ‘Why People Buy 1’.

Refer to previous examples to identify which need or needs would most likely be the motivating influence behind the purchasing decisions.

Describe Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, in ascending order:

  • Basic needs food, warmth etc
  • Safety needs fear, security
  • Social needs social contact, friendship etc
  • Self-esteem things which establish self-respect
  • Self-actualisation achieving for oneself

Stimulate a conversation




Stimulate a conversation about the way goods and services are advertised. Use examples such as a new car (freedom, self-expression, social status, safety in the case of Volvo etc), or telephone services (social discourse, keeping in touch, just in case someone is ill).


Question to delegates




Ask delegates to suggest what percentage of purchasing decisions are based on rational thought (logic) and what percentage is based on emotion.




In fact, 80% of all purchasing decisions are based on emotion.


Question to delegates


Ask delegates to consider whether all of Maslow’s needs are, in fact needs. Some may be ‘wants’. Establish this hypothesis as fact by using a few more examples (e.g. a new expensive suit or a tin of beans).


Present OHP 2




Present OHP ‘Why People Buy 2’

(Notice delegates’ reaction to this idea and be prepared to answer questions based on their own examples. This is a good point to recap).


Introduce an activity




Introduce activity one from page three of the workbook on ‘Customer motivators’. Split the delegates into small groups.

Each group will decide on what main motivating influences are likely to be involved in a purchasing decision for each of the named products or services.


Time allowed for activity




10 minutes



Feedback from activity


Following the exercise, one from each team should present that team’s findings to the larger group. A conversation around the findings should be encouraged.


Trainer dialogue




There are many reasons why people buy. For each purchasing decision there may be a number of influencing factors. It is our job to identify the most likely motivator when talking to a customer and to base our proposition on that one reason.



Explain activity


For the next activity, split the group into small teams again. Use activity 2 from the workbook on ‘Customer Motivators’.



Conducting the activity




On the one side of the activity sheet, each team must define the product(s) or service(s) offered on their own operation.

They should then identify the likely purchasing motivators for those products or services, and decide on whether they would be based on logic or emotion.

On the other side of the activity sheet, they should decide on a range of statements that they could use to strengthen the proposition around these purchasing motivators.


Time allowed for activity




15 minutes


Feedback from activity


At the end of the activity, one from each team should present their ideas to the larger group. A discussion should follow, and the trainer should encourage delegates to make notes of the most powerful statements.


Question to delegates




After a recap, ask delegates if they consider that this information is the only tool they will need when speaking to customers. If necessary, prompt further by asking if the way we speak to our customers has a bearing on the purchasing decision.

Capture answers on a flip chart: answers could be ‘the way we speak to the customer’, ‘professionalism’, ‘tone of voice’ etc.


Feedback from activity




The tone of voice and delivery of our message is vital if we are to build rapport and trust with the customer. There are few instances where a person would buy from someone who they did not trust, so it is our job to build a solid relationship with the customer.


Question to delegates




How do we do this? (Use the flip chart to capture answers)

Look for answers relating to matching the tone of voice with the customer, speed of delivery etc. Be ready to give examples of how the wrong tone of voice can put a customer off you and your company.



Explain the final activity




Introduce the final activity. Split the group into pairs. In turn, each person will take the part of the TC and the customer. Use the TCs’ own operation as a model for the activity.

The TC should enter into dialogue with the customer. Using information extracted from the customer, the TC should make an evaluation of the likely motivating influence at work and stimulate the customer’s interest by basing the sales proposition on this motivator.


Time allowed


15 minutes






Regroup to debrief before completion.


Trainer dialogue




As TCs in The Merchants Group we have an enormous responsibility to our clients and their customers. In many cases, we shall be the very first points of contact between the customer and the client company.

Because of this, we must leave the customer with a very strong feeling that we understand their needs/wants and can identify with their point of view. If we do this successfully, the decision to buy will come as a natural conclusion to our conversation.







After taking any questions, explain the accreditation process.

  • From session activities
  • Round robin quiz



Return to Main Menu

Return to Samples Page