How to Sell to Consumers With Different Motivation Types (2023)

How to Sell to Consumers With Different Motivation Types

How to Sell to Consumers With Different Motivation Types (1)

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Read time:
5 Minutes
Published on:
March 15, 2019
Written by:
Lesley Vos

To make consumers interested in purchasing your product, marketers need to figure out the motivation of their target audience. Knowing your consumer’s motivation will help you craft a content strategy and decide on effective marketing tactics to use for better conversion and sales.

Why do some people feel motivated after reading an inspiring article and others don’t? Why do some people buy a coat because of its style while others focus on its price and practicality?

People consider different factors because their dominant motives differ.

Marketers need to understand what motivates their audience. Depending on this reason, they can decide on the appropriate marketing tactics to influence conversion and sales.

We, at the Bid4Papers company, have figured out that customer motivation is centered around either physical or social reward expectancy.

With this in mind, we've revised our content strategy to best meet the interpretations our customers use for decision-making and, therefore, trigger the desired reaction from them.

This article will discuss the two types of dominant motivations in people and explain how to figure out what motivates your costumers. You can then use content tricks to better appeal to your customers' buying decisions.

Where to Look For Motivation

To influence consumers, you should understand how to identify customer motivation.

The brain shapes its behavior based on whether a person wants a social reward (praise for a good job) or a physical reward (a person scratches an itch) through sequential processes:

  1. Reward anticipation (“If I do a good job, I will get an A on this paper.”)
  2. Connection to the behavior (“I will work hard to write the paper.")
  3. Planning to receive the reward ("I hand in my paper knowing I did good work.")
  4. Coding its meaning ("I am proud I received an A on my paper.")
  5. Adjustment (“I worked hard and was rewarded. I will write a great paper again.")

Below is an image that shows where the motivation center is located in the human brain:

How to Sell to Consumers With Different Motivation Types (2)

The reward system is a core component of the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA), which is full of dopamine neurons or “the happy chemicals” in our brain that satisfies the need for excitement. Dopamine neurons want to reach the nucleus accumbens or “the reward circuit.” This circuit is the system that guides our behavior.

On the way to our reward circuit, neurons pass through the mesolimbic and mesocortical pathways, which are responsible for anticipating rewards. Once the neurons reach the nucleus accumbens, the brain feels motivated.

Two Types of Dominant Motivation

Most marketers agree that personalization, experience, and participation will drive the market over the coming years. You need to understand what motivates consumers to choose your brand over others.

There are two types of people:

  • The S Type: people striving for success.
  • The F Type: people trying to avoid failures.

As a marketer, you can "help" both types of people feel rewarded. You just have to learn the traits and behavior associated with each type.

For example, let's imagine there are two types of people, one motivated to avoid failure (F-dominant) and one motivated by success (S-dominant), who are going on a hiking trip.

Once the two return from the trip, they share their impressions with friends.

The F Person’s Impression of the Trip

The person with the F-dominant motivation describes how he was afraid to climb to the peak of the mountain and drive at night because he felt unsafe.

F-type people’s motivation is to stay safe no matter what.

Character traits of F-type people are:

  • Striving for maximum comfort
  • Not taking any risks
  • Thinking it’s better to do nothing than lose

If you are marketing to F-type people, remember to provide comfort and quality assurance to your consumers. F-type people read negative reviews and focus on these comments when choosing a product or service. They will be more open to buying your products if they feel it is not a risk.

The S Person’s Behavior on the Trip

The person with an S-dominant motivation type describes the beauty of the trip. He talks about how he climbed to the peak of the mountain and saw the view. He also decided to drive all night so he could reach the city by morning and see the sunrise.

S-type people have a positive perspective on the world. They don’t dwell on risks and prefer to be optimistic about outcomes.

Character traits of S-type people include:

  • Like to try something new, even if the risks are high
  • Think positively
  • Impulsive
  • Don’t hold grudges

People with S-dominant motivation read positive customer feedback and make buying decisions accordingly.

You should market the exciting and attractive elements of your product to S-type people. They like to learn about new features and elements of your services.

Once you determine the dominant motivation of your target audience, you'll understand what content they need and what pain points to "press" so they take action.

How to Sell Depending on a Motivation Type

How you word your marketing content can influence how your audience perceives it. You should consider your brand voice carefully and make sure it is consistent across channels.

A customer with an S-dominant motivation strives for more general interpretations of product. You need to show the big picture of a product instead of focusing on small details.

This iPhone ad is straightforward, brief, and aesthetically-pleasing:

How to Sell to Consumers With Different Motivation Types (3)

S-type style people appreciate thisvisual-centric and text-brief ad because it makes the product seem sleek and new.

Meanwhile, F-style people prefer more information. They like ads that give specifics on the features of the products and how it works.

Give F-style people a step-by-step plan for committing to an action. They need to see a result and understand they risk nothing when buying from you. Below is an infographic that an F-style person would appreciate:

How to Sell to Consumers With Different Motivation Types (4)

In the above graphic, we give the viewer step-by-step instructions on writing solutions. This detailed graphic would appeal to the F-style consumer.

Based on the dominant motivation of your users, build a content strategy that would influence them.

Make Psychology Work for You

Most marketing resources recommend understanding your audience to successfully craft a content marketing strategy. As such, the more you know about the psychology of your target customer, the better.

These content tricks (word-choice, style, tone, and your CTA) will help to appeal to your consumers and motivate them to buy from you.

Depending on the motivation type of your clients, different persuasive techniques will help to improve your marketing results. Invest in a digital marketing agency if you want to exercise these findings in a new campaign.

How to Sell to Consumers With Different Motivation Types (5)

Lesley Vos

Web Writer

Lesley Vos is a seasoned web writer, blogger at, and regular contributor to publications on business, marketing, and writing craft. With 7+ years of experience in data research, article writing, and content distribution, she helps peers develop the confidence and skills for better content creation and promotion. Connect with Lesley on Twitter.

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What are the different types of motivation in consumer behavior? ›

Based on different customer types, a buying motivation could be of various types, be it physical, psychological, sociological, emotional, rational, conscious, dormant, acquired, inherent, primary, and selective.

What should we do first to get the deepest understanding of what motivates consumers? ›

Ask yourself, “What are the emotional drivers?” By diving deeper, you can understand audience priorities and how best to appeal to them. Many experiences are collective; that's part of their appeal. But our interactions and memories are highly personal.

How do you motivate customers to buy a product? ›

How to Encourage Customers to Buy Your Product
  1. Use enticing sales copy and product photos.
  2. Showcase customer reviews and testimonials.
  3. Provide opt-in special offers.
  4. Provide time-sensitive deals.
  5. Streamline your checkout page.
  6. Provide a seamless payment experience.

What are motivators to sell? ›

Sellers may be motivated by: Compensation: Bonuses, sales commissions, salary. Incentives: Products, vacations, extra time off. Achievement: Being a top performer, completing a project, reaching goals.

What are the 4 types of consumer motivation? ›

Classification of Buying Motives
  • Emotional Buying Motive. The emotional buying motive is determined by the buyers' emotions, feelings, and attitudes. ...
  • Rational Buying Motive. Consumers do not all acquire goods or services for emotional reasons. ...
  • Prestige Motive. ...
  • Patronage Motive. ...
  • Socio-Psychological Motive.
Mar 29, 2023

What are the 4 types of motivation? ›

These forms of motivation are just as important as intrinsic ones if you can leverage them.
  • Incentive motivation. Incentive motivation is all about external rewards. ...
  • Fear motivation. Here you're motivated by the fear of an undesirable outcome. ...
  • Power motivation. ...
  • Social motivation.
May 17, 2022

What are the 6 C's of customer motivation? ›

Turner and Paris (1995) term these the Six C's of Motivation: choice, challenge, control, collaboration, constructing meaning, and consequences.

What factor is most important in motivating a consumer? ›

Culture. A person's culture, background and upbringing have a major impact on the food, clothing and personal items that she chooses to buy.

What is one of the most important motivational factors for salesman? ›

Six common factors that motivate salespeople are:

Opportunity. Teamwork. Independence. Visibility.

What are 4 ways to attract customers? ›

10 Ways to Get New Customers
  • Ask for referrals. ...
  • Network. ...
  • Offer discounts and incentives for new customers only. ...
  • Re-contact old customers. ...
  • Improve your website. ...
  • Partner with complementary businesses. ...
  • Promote your expertise. ...
  • Use online reviews to your advantage.
Apr 6, 2017

What are the six strategies to attract customers? ›

The following six strategies will help you attract and keep customers.
  • Offer quality products. Good quality is the most important reason cited by consumers for buying directly from farmers. ...
  • Cultivate good people skills. ...
  • Know your customers. ...
  • Use attractive packaging. ...
  • Let customers try samples. ...
  • Be willing to change.

What are the 5 most important things a business could do to have motivated customers? ›

5 Motivating Factors That Persuade Customers to Buy
  • They Need The Product. ...
  • They Will Save Time, Money And Energy. ...
  • Safety. ...
  • Exclusiveness. ...
  • Convenience.

What are 3 buying motives for consumers? ›

Buying Motives are the reason(s) you buy the goods and services that you choose. There are 3 categories of buying motives: Emotional, Rational, and Patronage.

What are my 3 biggest motivators? ›

But it turns out that each one of us is primarily triggered by one of three motivators: achievement, affiliation, or power. This is part of what was called Motivation Theory, developed by David McClelland back in 1961.

What are the 7 motivators? ›

The Seven Motivators

These 7 motivators are: Aesthetic, Economic, Individualistic, Political, Altruistic, Regulatory, Theoretical.

What are the 4 P's of consumer Behaviour? ›

The four Ps are the key considerations that must be thoughtfully reviewed and wisely implemented in order to successfully market a product or service. They are product, price, place, and promotion.

What is the most powerful motive in marketing? ›

Need is probably the most powerful purchase motivation. If a shopper genuinely needs your product, they are likely to buy it. However, consumers won't always be aware of this need – especially if you're selling a new product that consumers aren't yet familiar with.

What type of motivation is most effective? ›

Research confirms that intrinsic motivation is the one that generally leads to the most positive outcomes. You might have heard of Self Determination Theory (Deci and Ryan) which looks at the interaction between extrinsic forces and intrinsic motives and needs.

What are the 5 sources of motivation? ›

The five sources of motivation measured include intrinsic process, instrumental, self-concept-external, self-concept-internal, and goal internalization. A brief description of these five sources of motivation follows.

What is motivation methods? ›

Motivation techniques are internal or external influences that contribute to productivity, satisfaction at work and meaningful contribution to projects.

What are the 5 A's of customer mindset? ›

Philip Kotler, the five stages (Awareness, Appeal, Ask, Act and Advocacy) allow marketing and sales professionals to create a map of the customer's needs and priorities during the different parts of their purchase process.

What are the 5 core principles of a successful customer? ›

The five core customer service principles include:
  • Speed.
  • Accuracy.
  • Accountability.
  • Quality.
  • Transparency.
May 24, 2021

What is the 6 W model of customer analysis? ›

The core circular element mentions the title 6W Model and six branches with circular shapes. These branches represent the W components of the 6W approach: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and Why Not. The respective circular shapes have PowerPoint icons relevant to each point.

What are the two most important motivating factors? ›

The two-factor theory is a concept that states the factors that affect an individual's satisfaction and motivation level. These two factors are: Job satisfaction (affective/hygiene) Job dissatisfaction (motivational)

What does consumer motivation depend on? ›

The goals selected by individuals depend on their personal experiences, physical capacity, goal's accessibility in the physical and social environment and above all the individual's cultural norms and values.

How do you motivate a seller to sell? ›

8 Ways to Motivate Sellers Without Spending More
  1. Find out what your seller wants. This one is easier than you might think. ...
  2. Offer cash. ...
  3. Rent the house back to the seller. ...
  4. Waive contingencies. ...
  5. Offer to buy the furniture. ...
  6. Write a heartfelt letter. ...
  7. Play hardball. ...
  8. Think outside the box.

What is the biggest motivator in sales? ›

Money. The most common way of motivating anyone in any profession is through money. A salesperson is especially conscious of that because his income increases when he closes a sale.

How do sales people stay motivated? ›

Surround yourself with positive people, trade stories and methods, and find out what works for them, as it may well work for you, too. Don't be afraid to approach mentors and top salespeople and soak in their success stories. Cut yourself off from negativity and surround yourself with motivated colleagues.

How do you win more customers? ›

How to win customers – 10 things you can do today
  1. Create a marketing plan of action. Having a marketing plan is a good place to start. ...
  2. Use social media to reach customers. ...
  3. Don't ignore traditional marketing. ...
  4. Make headlines with PR. ...
  5. Build your network. ...
  6. Review your website. ...
  7. Launch a pop-up shop. ...
  8. Collaborate with other businesses.

How do you attract customers naturally? ›

10 Ways how to Attract and Retain Customer
  1. Word of Mouth. First of all, there's word-of-mouth. ...
  2. Giveaways. ...
  3. Discounts, Sales and Loyalty Programs. ...
  4. Make It Like Competition. ...
  5. Interesting Web Site. ...
  6. Get Listed on Popular Local Directories. ...
  7. Social Media. ...
  8. Online Advertising.
Jun 13, 2021

What are the 5 selling strategies? ›

5 Sales Strategies for Businesses
  • Define your buyer.
  • Tell a story.
  • Target a niche market.
  • Sell your brand.
  • Focus on internal growth.

What are the 4 selling strategies? ›

The four basic sales strategies salespeople use are script-based selling, needs-satisfaction selling, consultative selling, and strategic-partner selling. Different strategies can be used with in different types of relationships.

What are the 7 marketing strategies? ›

The 7Ps of marketing are – product, pricing, place, promotion, physical evidence, people, and processes. The 7 Ps make up the necessary marketing mix that a business must have to advertise a product or service.

What are 5 ways to keep customers happy? ›

How to keep customers happy and loyal
  • Create customer experience goals. ...
  • Go the extra mile with customer support. ...
  • Treat each customer as an individual. ...
  • Provide multiple touchpoints. ...
  • Invest in the voice of the customer research. ...
  • Use your CRM to measure satisfaction and retention. ...
  • Leverage automation.
Apr 5, 2022

What is the key to customer success? ›

One of the best things you can do to cultivate success in your customers is to incorporate proactive support into your customer success strategy. Proactive support is anything that allows your customers to get information about their problems before they need to reach out to your support or customer success team.

What are the 4 factors that can influence consumers when they buy items? ›

There are four psychological factors that influence consumer behaviour: Motivation, perception, learning, and attitude or belief system.

What are the six basic buying motives? ›

These trigger points reflect an individual's needs, inner feelings, instincts, drives, desires and emotions. By understanding these motives, marketers and salespeople can better appeal to their target audiences.

What are the 3 factors customers look at before buying? ›

There are three categories of factors that influence customers buying behavior:
  • Psychological factors.
  • Social factors.
  • Situational factors.

What are the 3 A's of motivation? ›

McClelland's Acquired Needs Motivation Theory says that humans have three types of emotional needs: achievement, power and affiliation. Individuals can have any mix of these needs. Their motivations and behaviors are shaped by the strength and blend of their specific needs.

What are the three core motivators? ›

Three core Motivators, each with two sides
  • Sensation is a Core Motivator.
  • Anticipation is a Core Motivator.
  • Belonging is a Core Motivator.

What are the top 5 motivators for people? ›

A classic survey identified the top 5 motivators for employees as follows:
  • Challenging Work.
  • Recognition.
  • Employee Involvement.
  • Job Security.
  • Compensation.
Jan 29, 2021

What are the 10 types of motivation? ›

Best types of motivation for different activities
  • Reward-based motivation.
  • Attitude motivation.
  • Fear-based motivation.
  • Creative motivation.
  • Achievement motivation.
  • Competence motivation.
  • Power motivation.
Mar 15, 2023

What are the 9 unconscious motivators? ›

  • 1 for things to be.
  • 2 to be needed and.
  • 3 to succeed and.
  • 4 to be special and.
  • 5 to be.
  • 6 to be safe and.
  • 7 to enjoy life and be.
  • 8 to be strong and.

What are the 8 desires of motivation? ›

Power | Activity | Recognition | Affiliation | Competence | Ownership | Meaning | Achievement | So what? Author Dean Spitzer identified eight 'desires of motivation' that may drive people in different ways.

What are the 3 consumer buying motives? ›

Buying Motives are the reason(s) you buy the goods and services that you choose. There are 3 categories of buying motives: Emotional, Rational, and Patronage.

What are the 3 common motivators of behavior? ›

According to Self-Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000), the three motivators of human behavior are:
  • autonomy – the need to have control and choice over one's actions,
  • competence – the need to feel capable and effective, and.
  • relatedness – the need for social connection and interaction with others.
Nov 5, 2019

What are the 7 types of motivation? ›

Best types of motivation for different activities
  • Reward-based motivation.
  • Attitude motivation.
  • Fear-based motivation.
  • Creative motivation.
  • Achievement motivation.
  • Competence motivation.
  • Power motivation.
Mar 15, 2023

What are the main types of motivation? ›

2 types of motivation explained
  • Intrinsic motivation: This is when motivation comes from "internal" factors to meet personal needs. We do things we do because we enjoy them, not because we have to. ...
  • ​Extrinsic motivation: This is when motivation comes from "external" factors that are given or controlled by others.
Apr 23, 2014

What are the 5 key buying roles in the consumer buying process? ›

The five main roles in a buying center are the users, influencers, buyers, deciders, and gatekeepers. In a generic situation, one could also consider the roles of the initiator of the buying process (who is not always the user) and the end users of the item being purchased.

What are the five steps of consumer decision making? ›

What is the consumer decision making process. The consumer decision-making process involves five basic steps. This is the process by which consumers evaluate making a purchasing decision. The 5 steps are problem recognition, information search, alternatives evaluation, purchase decision and post-purchase evaluation.

What are the 4 factors of consumer buying behavior? ›

A consumer's buyer behaviour is influenced by four major factors: Cultural, Social, Personal and Psychological. Cultural factors include a consumer's culture, subculture and social class. These factors are often inherent in our values and decision processes.

What are the three strongest motivators? ›

But it turns out that each one of us is primarily triggered by one of three motivators: achievement, affiliation, or power. This is part of what was called Motivation Theory, developed by David McClelland back in 1961.

What are the three major categories of motives? ›

McClelland's human motives model distinguishes three major motives: the need for achievement, affiliation, and power.

What are the 5 motivational strategies? ›

5 motivational techniques to help you achieve your goals
  • Set yourself a bigger goal.
  • Set smaller goals along the way.
  • Do your research.
  • Get support.
  • Stay positive.

What are the 5 components of motivation? ›

[16], which uses five items to assess each of the five components of motivation: intrinsic motivation, self-determination, self-efficacy, career motivation and grade motivation.

What factors motivate behavior? ›

There are three major components to motivation: activation, persistence, and intensity. Activation involves the decision to initiate a behavior, such as enrolling in a psychology class.

What are the types of motivation explain with examples? ›

What Are the Types of Motivation? The two main types of motivation are frequently described as being either extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation arises from outside of the individual and often involves external rewards such as trophies, money, social recognition, or praise.


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