Motivation

The Top Three Buyer Motivations

Buy (1).jpg

In today’s post I want to get straight to the point. I’m going to outline the biggest reasons why people buy from you and I want you to see if your marketing, branding or actions map appropriately to your customer’s motivations.

Here are the big three:

1. Impulse.

Have you ever been scrolling through Amazon and hit that “Add to Cart” button out of instinct? You weren’t hunting for anything in particular but it felt good to make that purchase. Amazon is really good at showing you things it thinks you’ll like, need or could want and they know that everyone likes an easy dopamine hit. You also get those good feelings because your brain rewards you for engaging in a behavior that’s rooted in survival - like storing food for the winter, getting a perceived good deal, or avoiding FOMO. Your brain gives you that quick dopamine hit and you enjoy the benefits of your purchase in the short term.

Is your product or service recreationally based? Is your value proposition tied directly to providing an amazing customer experience? If it is then you should think carefully about how you’re rewarding your buyers in the now or immediate future. Nerf does an amazing job of this for it’s customers of all ages - it’s a brand that is the physical embodiment of fun. You might not be selling soft foam toys but you might be able to glean a thing or two from Nerf’s marketing if you’re counting on your customer’s instincts to buy.

2. Reflex or Reaction.

When people are buying out of reflex or reaction they are addressing an immediate need or problem. If your toilet is flooding in the middle night and you call a 24-hour plumber, that plumber is charging you a premium to help you solve that problem. Out of sugar when you’re baking cookies means you’re running to the grocery store. Struggling with marketing, received a cease and desist order, or need help building your business development efforts means your engaging with the appropriate professional services provider. I think you get it.

If your product or service solves a specific problem then you need to figure out what situations best create the opportunity for someone to find and use what you’re offering. Is your marketing mapping to the times when people need you most? Are you leading with the value you provide in those tricky situations? What about how much better someone’s life is after they engage with you? Understanding your customer’s biggest motivators or “why” for needing you will help position your business for success because you won’t just be listing your features or benefits. Remember, people don’t go to the hardware store to buy a power drill you’re selling the hole the drill makes.

3. Aspirationally.

The promise of change can be a big motivator for people. Right now we are living in a world where one of the biggest draws in something like a new phone is its ability to get smarter. I know this first hand because I bought the new Pixel 2 XL because of Google’s promise that their AI would get smarter which means it will help me be more productive. Yes I needed a new phone but aspirationally I’m always looking for better ways to do more and be more and this phone tugged at all the right heart strings for me. The promise of being better is why online courses, fitness programs, and even some professional/life coaches sell so well. It’s because customers engage because they believe that going through a process or consuming a product/service will make their lives better.

Having the power to sell aspirationally is a power that you need to wield carefully. Well it’s actually less Spiderman’s Uncle Ben and more of a King Arthur’s Excalibur (double edged sword.) The reason? Of all the ways to position your business to your customers, aspirationally is by far one of the easiest. It’s easy to come up with words of inspiration and promises of change. What’s hard is delivering the value on that promise. What’s hard is getting people to finish the online course they started with you, to take your advice and actually do something with it and to stick to the diet the fitness program outlines. That’s why it’s a double edged sword. Not only that but the market is overcrowded with hucksters that will gladly take money from a customer and be happy with delivering a mediocre at best experience. So, if you’re business is promising a transformation or a benefit that makes someone’s life better you need to make sure you have the chops to deliver.

Now you’re challenge.

I challenge you to take a hard look at your business. I want you to really think about why people engage with you and the value that you deliver. Then you’ll be able to figure out which bucket catches most of what you do. It might not be perfect but it’s important to focus on one of the three reasons why people buy and realign your marketing so that it matches the motivations of your customers. It will help you save money and talk directly to your customers more authentically. There’s no wrong choice here and I’ll give you three examples to match businesses that are doing each one really well.

Note: None of the following businesses are sponsors in any capacity. I just think they are great examples of the reasons why people buy.

Impulse - Vat19.com - https://www.vat19.com/ This site sells really fun and interesting gifts. They have a ton of fun in their videos and on their site and do a great job of inviting you to join in on that fun.

Reaction - Freshbooks - https://www.freshbooks.com This is an small business accounting and invoicing service that steps in when your business needs to up its professional game. They do a great job nurturing small businesses and letting their customers know that they are going to be there when their customers needs them.

Aspirationally - Marie Forleo - https://www.marieforleo.com/ Marie Forleo is a big deal in entrepreneur and business building circles. The reason is because she delivers hard on her promise of helping business builders change their lives so they can build businesses that reflect the “special gift” only they can deliver.

See, no secret formula. Just great marketing celebrating where people are on their buying journey. Best of all these examples aren’t trying to capture everyone. They’ve identified how they deliver value and why their target customers are most likely to buy.

Now, get to work!


If you're looking for a little more hands-on help then you should totally check out Disruptive Strategy Co.'s new HIRE page. Booking a Disruptive Strategy Power Hour gives us the opportunity to work one on one and to create a tailored plan so that you can stop using the spray and pray approach to growing your business. 


Is #Hustle Hurting Your Business?

If you’re the kind of entrepreneur or business owner that uses #hustle after every social post then this blog post is for you. I want to try to scratch the surface on what #hustle really is and if you’re constantly #hustlehard’ing, what kind of damage could you actually be doing to your business. 

Let’s start by trying to get to the heart of #hustle. Immediately below this text is a 2:00 video from Gary Vaynerchuk (the OG of #hustle) defining what #hustle means to him. Give it a quick watch and then we’ll catch-up. 

Ok, so “squeezing every last bit of juice out of the orange”, “maximizing the energy you’re putting into somebody”, and “putting all your effort into achieving the goal you have at hand”. I think those are probably the best little bits out of that video because they are objective - mostly. They also convey a lesson that almost anyone can apply wherever they are on their entrepreneurial journey. In the rest of the video he goes on about how he doesn’t have Friday nights because he uses that time to hustle, hiring an assistant, etc. Those are things that are Gary Vaynerchuk specific and unfortunately the things that people pay the most attention to. 

I think, for the most part, he does a great job in this video conveying the heart of what #hustle is and at the same time there are a lot of people that get this concept very wrong. They get it wrong because they try to map their goals against someone like Gary Vaynerchuk’s. They map their activity against what he documents and throws out all over the web. They map his actions in growing the multiple businesses he’s responsible for to the business they are growing.

And, that’s a problem. 

It’s a problem because every business owner has different strengths, capabilities and are at different stages. What happens when you map where you are today against what someone like Gary Vaynerchuk has built over decades? You end up with an abundance of entrepreneurs confusing spammy sales techniques and short-cut growth tactics with sustainable and authentic business growth. 

Let’s do a real time experiment. I challenge you to open up Instagram and search the #hustle tag. Even though there’s a gap between the writing of this post and you doing this exercise I guarantee the results will be the same. You’re going to see THOUSANDS of posts with quotables, hacky business guru’s giving generic advice, Ferraris and lots of fitness model types either trying to grow their brand or sell you something like Herbalife. 

This is my problem with #hustle. Anyone can take a few minutes and Google an image then use an app to throw some advice-y text over it and position themselves as an expert. You end up doing something that feels like work and even delivers the great little accomplishment dopamine hit we all chase but, it’s probably not going to be the activity that delivers the most value for your business. 

I know that’s not everyone so let’s divide people up into a few simple categories. 

Category 1: Are some of these accounts capturing moments of “squeezing every last bit of juice out of the orange”, “maximizing the energy you’re putting into somebody”, and “putting all your effort into achieving the goal you have at hand”? 

Sure. 

Category 2: Are some of them trying to emulate the activity they see work for larger accounts, capitalize on a popular # or are idealizing the act of working 100 hour weeks? 

Also, sure. 

Ok so you did this little experiment and are now thinking, so what? 

This applies less to the people that fall in the first category and more into the second. The ones that confuse the amount activity or the amount of hours they're working with #hustle. It’s a problem because they are using a volume metric to measure success for their business. 

It’s my goal to help you avoid burnout and the damage can go along with blindly #hustleharder’ing. Burnout is a very real issue because just working harder may end up costing you money, time and even important relationships you could otherwise leverage your business growth against. #hustle can also be unsustainable and even worse could possibly convince you to quit too soon because your not getting the results that your favorite social guru may be getting. 

I want to see you grow your business at rates that make sense for you. I want to see you reach the goals you set for yourself and deliver the value you’re promising to the people that you serve. So I’ve come up with a few questions you can ask yourself when you’re floating around online and realize that you’re not living the life that social media says you should be. 

Below is a list of things to think about when you’re feeling like you’re not #hustleharder’ing enough: 

1. Are you doing more of the Deep Work - the work that really matters in your business? Or, are you just plowing through a to-do list full of tasks where you’re just playing in the business? 

2. Are you trying to sell to everyone instead of spending the time to really get to know your customers and figuring out how they could best be served? 

3. Are you tracking the handful of metrics that matter most in your business? Like: units sold, number of contacts required to get to a sales meeting, clients managed, etc. Something that is quantifiable and that isn’t some kind of vanity metric. 

4. Is your messaging authentically you? This matters because this is how the world sees your business. You don’t want to be drowning in a sea of Tai Lopez quotes, supercar pictures and photos of stacks of money. 

5. Are you really engaging with people? Are you having real conversations with people either in real life or online and offering value or getting feedback. If you’re just always shouting the same stuff everyone else is you’ll never be able to scream louder than the noise in the room. 

6. Do you have clear goals set for yourself that you check in on regularly? 


7. Are you suffering from “Butt In Seat Syndrome”? It’s an affliction that many entrepreneurs suffer from that results in talking about the things you’re going to do and never doing them, over developing plans and never starting them and general avoidance of the hard work that goes into building a business. 

I’m all for working harder and smarter. It’s a mission of mine to support entrepreneurs as they are trying to grow. I just want to make sure that you’re doing it in a way that makes sense for you and that allows you to do your best work.

Here’s to #hustle’ing responsibly! 

I STILL WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Below this post is a one question survey. I’d love to help you with what you're struggling with when it comes to your business development. I’m promising to do my best to get back to everyone that responds.  

Name *
Name

 

 

Stop Consuming Motivation And Start Mining For It!

Motivation is an interesting concept. 

It has the potential to refill your entrepreneurial gas tank allowing you to crush your to-do list and at the same time; the acts of hunting for and consuming motivation related materials can literally cripple your productivity. 

What I’d like to explore today is how you can use motivation to push your business forward. It’s not the Tony Robbins or Gary Vaynerchuk kind of motivation that I want to explore though. The motivation I’m talking about is getting to intimately understand what motivates the people you’re trying to get to listen to your message. 

A critical and fundamental concept you need to understand as you’re growing your business is getting to the heart of what motivates the people you’re trying to serve. 

Before we start I need to potentially call you out. (Sorry in advance.) I need to call out the people who are a different person when they are trying to get some kind of engagement out of their audience. Different from their normal everyday, walking through life buying stuff kind of person that we ALL are. I need to call out all the people that have and share all kinds of tips, tricks and tactics for growing a business but never actually do any of those things themselves. It’s like saying, “Having clearly articulated goals are really important but, I’m a better operator when I just wing it.” They are the people that binge watch/listen to business development stuff but never take any action...and then complain about the externalities that are working against them when they get zero traction. 

What?! 

This is one of the problems with motivation. You expect consuming some soundbite driven piece of content to magically change you into a super-productive-business-building machine. That might work for a few people that need a push on an off day because they already put in the time to build real business infrastructure. If you’re the “entrepreneur” that’s been waiting to start for three years, one more podcast isn’t going to be the thing to push you into launch mode. 

For the love HubSpot, it’s not the economy’s fault! 

So, let’s approach motivation from a different angle. Let’s turn motivation into an asset that you can deploy strategically to support you building your business. In order to turn this consumable into a value-add for you we have to define motivation. 

Motivation’s New Definition: Benefits offered, earned or granted to help someone in their decision making process. It’s an incentive that is offered to encourage someone to take action. 

Sounds basic but sometimes revisiting the fundamentals is how you get better.  So, now that we are on the same page let’s talk about what you can do to better understand what motivates the people you’re trying to serve, to take action. I have a few questions you should think about when you’re trying to get to the heart of what motivates people. There’s also a point you should avoid as it can be a false-indicator for a lot of people. 

1. Where are they already spending their time online? 

When you observe your potential customers spending time on social and streaming platforms what do you do? They are clearly willing to accept the benefits of consuming some type of online media and chasing some kind of feeling in exchange for the finite minutes they have in any given day. If you’re trying to get into the headspace of your market, figure out where they are going online, what they are consuming and how they are engaging each other. If you can get to the heart of why they are chasing a quick dopamine hit from binge watching another episode of the Flash instead of buying from you, you can start to work on making your value proposition a little more interesting. 

2. What are they most proud of? 

Being proud of your kids, a DIY craft project you just finished or the website you built can tell a lot about what motivates you. We are in a market where the default for a lot of people is to over-share. You can use this to your advantage. Pay attention to the feelings and outcomes your prospects share when they tell you a story about a time they were most proud recently. You’ll be able to infer what outcome or value-delivering switches need to be manipulated to deliver a must-have experience to your customers. Big shiny new purchases might signify a preference for seeking high-end consumables, high quality products or getting great deals. If someone tells you in painstakingly proud detail all about how little Jimmy learned how to ride his bike without training wheels and proud-papa insists you watch all 30 minutes of the video he shot on his phone, quality family time might be something important. 

3. What does their life look like? 

Scanning the landscape of your ideal customer’s life can provide you with a lot of insight. As consumers we make decisions everyday that to us, feel inconsequentially when looked at individually but, summed up can tell a lot about what motivates us. If you’re marketing savvy this is the part where you start to build up the demographic profile of your ideal customer. Ages, neighborhoods, employers, favorite brands, celebrity crushes - all these things (and more) can offer you insight on how your ideal customer makes their decisions and the values they truly hold dear. 

Those three questions are a good start and if you start to really dig into each of them you’ll be able to collect a ton of data about your ideal customer. There is one thing that I want you to look out for though and it goes back to what I said early around the disconnect between people say they are and what they actually do. 

Be wary of taking things like social profile one-liners for granted. Be wary of any singular piece of information you collect, actually. When you’re trolling through a seemingly endless sea of available data on people, you can’t let a singular piece of information carry a significant amount of weight. What you’re really looking for are patterns in behavior and patterns for incentives. Just because a random social profile in what you believe is your ideal demographic says they love travel doesn’t mean they have ever actually traveled. Taking information on face value can be dangerous as you’re trying to craft your value proposition. 

Remember you’re trying to provide value and sell to real people, not the disconnected version of themselves they display online. 

So the next time you’re feeling a little behind get hydrated and avoid the urge to binge watch motivational videos on YouTube. Instead, roll up your sleeves and try to get a little deeper into the heads of your consumers - your business will thank you for it.