Quick Tip from Clements: Know What Drives Your Customers to Buy

Whether it's peer pressure, status, ego or security, there is something driving your customers to buy. Be aware of what is driving them so you know how to sell your products and services accordingly. Different ages of people are motivated by different emotions to make purchase. Here are four things that drive customers to make a purchase and tips for how to approach them for a sale.  

Peer pressure

Young people are motivated by peer pressure. Peer pressure is a natural need to stay even with people in your same age group. The moment there is something new on the market, young people want it. As soon as they see others have it, they want it even more.

The way to get potential customers under 41 to do business with you is not to tell them they should. When you tell them to do something their natural tendency is to want to do the opposite. You have to use and understand the concept of negative selling.

Negative selling is trying to let a customer know that maybe your products or services aren’t the right choice for them, but you do have a lot of customers who have experienced a lot of success with your help. Let the customer make the decision. When they hear of the success of others, they will choose you.  


As we get older, keeping even is not what we want to do. We want to get ahead. Status starts driving us to take action from 41 or older. The easiest way to sell to someone seeking status is to show them what other people are doing and say “But that’s not what I’m going to recommend for you”.

As we get older, our primary goal in life is to get ahead. We are more interested in buying quality over quantity as we age. Use that as a tool when selling to the customer seeking status. Recommend something for the customer that offers them more than the average customer desires and sets them apart.


Ego has a lot to do with a man’s attitude about buying something. When talking to a potential customer about your products and services, you are essentially suggesting that the decision they made in the past that didn’t involve you was the wrong one. If you tell a man he has made the wrong decision he will not be open to your ideas and suggestions.

Tell the customer you think that at the time they made that decision, it was a good one. Then move on to explain how things have changed and ask if they agree. When they start nodding in agreement, they are mentally starting to buy from you.


Security is something we all want because at one point in our life we had it and then lost it. The last time any of us felt truly secure was in our mother’s womb. We will spend the rest of our lives trying to regain that sense of security.  

When working with a potential customer, you need to get an idea of what fears or challenges you can take away to make them feel secure. Show them how you can help them get rid of the pain.

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Bob Clements is the president of Bob Clements International, a consulting firm that specializes in the development of high-performance dealerships. His organization works hands on with dealerships throughout North America, helping them attain the personal freedom and financial wealth all entrepreneurs strive to achieve. For more information, visit www.bobclements.com.