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29.03.11 - Gareth Jones
What's your customer's motivation?

I recently read a blog article which mentioned something about chopping your finger off to increase sales (the comment was made tongue in cheek to illustrate a point. The author was in no way insinuating that employing this as a strategy would be a good idea!). The link to the blog which gives some good tips on ways to promote your website is: www.businesszone.co.uk/blogs/10yetis/very-yeti-blog/top-6-and-half-ways-create-linkbait-your-site

Speaking as someone who, while employed in a summer job after college, had a lucky escape during an incident with a circular saw and one of my digits, this throwaway comment resonated with me. That incident actually influenced, to a degree, what I do now. The job was ludicrously low paid and a health and safety nightmare (grown men firing ten inch nails from high powered compressed air nail guns at various targets, including each other!). This, combined with the circular saw incident, gave me further motivation to pursue my chosen career.

This got me thinking about people's fundamental motivations in business. I'm sure you are au fait with management motivation theories such as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and I'm sure the majority of us go to work to provide an income and support for our families and do a good job because it enhances our reputation, status etc, but are there imperceptible things that motivate us to do the job that we do?

Linking this back to business, do you know what your customer's motivation for buying your product or service is? Is it the perceived kudos or prestige that your product provides or your delivery terms or some other factor? Don't assume that you know. You might, for example, think it's the low price so are competing with your competitor on this front but it's actually the fact that your client thinks your customer service or after sales is exceptional and would actually pay a bit extra for this service.

Similarly, do you know your employees motivations? Are they engaged and motivated and all working toward the organisations objectives? Maybe spend some time checking the above. You might be surprised.

Please do comment and let me know your thoughts on the above.