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Motivators Profile in Sales & Customer Service


Universal Sales Truth: To a prospect, any price is too high until he or she understands the value of your product or service. To deliver value to a prospect, salespeople have to first understand what the prospect perceives as value.

If we understand what the customer values (what they care about), we will be better positioned to understand their motivations to buy. Once we are able to understand their motivations, we will be better able to meet their expectations, create pleasant experiences, and build trust.

The ability to build trust is the most vital part of selling, which is necessary to understand for any salesperson working in an environment that demands relationships, rather than transactions.

While learning about a person’s DISC style is useful for understanding how to better communicate with someone, and therefore affecting their level of trust in you, the Workplace Motivators Model is a powerful tool for identifying what they value by understanding 6 universal human values of major importance. These values serve as a primary filter for determining what people like and what they don’t like. The more passionate their value is, the more motivating it is, and therefore the more important the role it plays in the trust-building process.

In the same way that everybody has different communication preferences, everybody has different motivational desires. When you know what people value most, it is much easier to know how to meet these desires. Wouldn’t you want to deal with sales person who understands your intense need for practicality and getting a high return on investment? Or your love of learning… or your passion for helping others… or your desire to lead the pack?

In considering both DISC and motivators, we tend to 'like' the styles we are 'most like,' and we tend to 'not like' the ones we are 'least like.' We especially disapprove, devalue and misunderstand motivators and behaviours that are the opposite of our own.

People's motivators aren’t nearly as observable as their behavioural style, but they leave clues — clues which you can learn to identify and use to improve communication, build trust, create win-win outcomes and, most importantly, have them coming back. 

Note: Below we have used ‘sales’; however, the same script can be used as a template for ‘customer service’ with a few minor tweaks.

How to Introduce Motivators to Sales Managers & Salespeople

There is no single best way to coach, train or facilitate a program on Motivators, so what follows is simply a scripted example to help illustrate one way that Motivators might be introduced.


Facilitator: “Welcome to [Sales 101]. One of the cornerstones of this training is human relationships. Selling is all about your ability to initiate and build relationships with people.

Research indicates that 75% of lost sales are lost during the first 45 seconds of the initial contact, because that is how quickly a prospect makes a decision about you.

Sales are not always lost on the merits of the offer. Frequently they are lost because the prospect doesn’t like something about you: it may have been your manner, your speech, your tone of voice, your dress, or the anything about 'the cut of your jib.' Buyers first decide on you. If they buy you, they are more likely to trust you, and then — and only then — are you able to start a real relationship with someone.

Good salespeople know that their job is not ‘sell’, but to build trust. All relationships are built of a foundation of trust. For sales professionals — true professionals — being trusted is more essential than anything else because trust opens up a relationship, and when people feel safe and secure with you they will come to you with their problems and provide you with real insights into who they are and what they care about.

I really dislike the stereotype of the salesperson as the slick persuader; the charismatic, fast-talking, wheeling and dealing used-car-salesman-type who will do anything to close a sale. That's not the same thing as being a sales 'professional.' Professionals are experts, specialists and trusted advisors. They’re the first people you call when you have a question or need to solve a problem. And that’s what I want you to think about when you start a relationship with a customer.

As sales professionals, we need to think about selling differently. We need to focus more on helping than selling, more on listening than talking, more on creating long-term customers than one-shot sales. Selling is not a process of outsmarting people, but is a process of listening to the customer’s needs and wants, making emotional connections, and adding value to their lives.

With this in mind, today’s sales training will cover 3 essential aspects of relationships and building trust:

  • Know yourself
  • Know your client
  • Know how to present your products & yourself to your client

To help us at each of these three stages, we’re going to explore something called the Workplace Motivators profile. This tool provides a framework for understanding 6 core motivators (values or passions). These values are central for determining what we are passionate and obsessed about, and what we tend to ignore and place little importance on.

One of the great benefits of understanding people’s motivators is that we can know their 'hot buttons' — what excites them and what makes them run away."  

Following this introduction, the participants would then receive an overview of the six major motivators (passions / values), including what each factor measures, and the common characteristics, needs and wants associated with each. For a bit of fun, you might wish you use these famous characters as part of the activity.

The idea of the training from here is to help the salespeople understand what buying conditions each of the six motivators respond to best.

At this point, it is a good idea to present the sales staff with their Motivators profiles (or some specific parts of them) so that they can relate the principles to their own situation. It's worthwhile to have all the salespeople participate in activities and discussions that highlight important differences in their graphs, which works best if there are people with a range of different values in the room.

Once they have a grounded understanding of the research and principles around the tool, and once they have established an awareness of their own values and that of others, we might provide them with some strategies to put the Motivators language into action with their customers. This might involve a process for identifying the motivators in others by listening to clues in what they say, as well as asking a few simple probing questions.


Key Benefits of Motivators Profiling & Training for SalesManagers and Salespeople:

  • Build Trust:: Trust is the most valuable resource that a salesperson has. While there are many factors that will build of erode trust, the person that recognises and responds to others' passions will be in a much better position to gain the cooperation and commitment of those around them.
  • Improve Communication: Once it is clear what the customer values, it becomes easier to tailor messages in a way that they understand how the solutions will benefit them.
  • Self-Awareness:: Better understanding of how their speech, manner and actions might be perceived by others, so that they can avoid doing or saying the wrong thing.
Theo Winter

Theo Winter

Client Services Manager, Writer & Researcher. Theo is one of the youngest professionals in the world to earn an accreditation in TTI Success Insight's suite of psychometric assessments. For more than a decade, he worked with hundreds of HR, L&D and OD professionals and consultants to improve engagement, performance and emotional intelligence of leaders and their teams. He authored the book "40 Must-Know Business Models for People Leaders."

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