Customer Motivations

Yesterday, I wrote about customer influencer roles and described the various roles that people involved with your project may play. Today, I'm offering up a discussion about the personal motivations that each of these roles might have. Understanding a person's underlying motivations can help direct your efforts when constructing a consulting proposal.


To what extend does the individual perceive that they are at risk? Are they facing a major shortfall in their goals? Or trending in the wrong direction? These people perceive themselves to be "up to their necks in a pool of sharks" and are highly motivated to explore proposals that could eliminate the threat. Drain the pool now!


To what extent does this individual perceive an opportunity to better their position in some way? Do they sense a way to increase results, expand, or grow the business? Are they already "suffering from the blessing of success" and trying to keep up to keep their opportunities going? While not as motivated as the individual who feels threat, this person is also highly motivated to consider proposals that will support the opportunity.

Status Quo

This individual is unable to detect either impending threats or opportunities. From their world view all is good the way it is and so no change is required. Their may be entirely accurate or in light of industry patterns, there may be opportunities going undiscovered and even threats around the corner. When provided a set of persuasive facts from some of your initial analysis, you may find these individuals become more motivated. Help them recognize opportunities and threats they may not see.


This individual's perception of their reality is "everything is just peachy". Any yet, your first impressions of their situation may be quite the opposite. They are reticent to consider any information that may contradict their world view because "they are right and you are wrong."

Marketing to these individuals requires patience and gentle injects of reality. Stay close, share credible industry data (articles, seminars, studies) that might help them recognize that their own base of information could be too narrow or insufficient.

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