What are the common buying motives of customers ?


“Buying motives are psychological, not logical”. Psychology is the science which analyses and classifies the varying states of the human mind. It is a science which studies the human mind. In his day-today contacts, the salesman meets various types of persons with different requirements and reactions. Every time a prospect approaches, he should size up or diagnose the prospect. Psychology plays an important part of the salesmanship.

Buying motives are psychological, not logical. People react more psychologically than logically. To recognize this psychological attitude of customers, the salesman requires self-knowledge and empathy. The salesman should ask why do people goods to the movie, why do they dance, why do they read magazines, why do they enjoy sports and games, why do they look at themselves in mirrors and so on. The salesman must discover prospects real and deeper motives. If he applies all these questions to himself, he may be able to get their answers.

List of buying motives

(i) Product motives


Product buying motives are those that prompt the consumer or people to buy because of physical and psychological product attributes. The product might be appealing to his eyes, nose, ear, tongue and skin and matching to his mind.

These physical and psychological attractions may be design, size, colour, taste, package, price, versatility, safety, comfort, economy, convenience and so on. These product buying motives may be either ‘emotional ’or rational. So classification is of much significance to understand the very girth of buying motives.

Product emotional buying motives

Emotion is the excited state of feeling or mental agitation. Emotional action is more quick, impulsive, and jerky without much thinking or reasoning being applied. These actions are based on feelings or passions. Emotional decision is not based on detailed study or plan but it is the outcome of the spur of the moment. Emotional buying motives pertaining to products can be


1. Pride

2. Vanity

3. Jealousy

4. Fashion or imitation


5. Sex

6. Habits

7. Love and affection

8. Comfort


9. Aesthetic pleasure

10. Praise

11. Product rational motives.

Human beings are both social and rational. They think before doing. They have an outstanding ability of creative thinking and imaginative juggling of environmental variable to their great benefit. It is rationality that distinguishes a man from other animals. Reasoning is predominant in host of his activities, actions and decisions. Rational motives are based on reasoning or judgment. He has such product rational buying motives.


1. Safety of fear

2. Suitability

3. Durability

4. Economy

5. Convenience

6. Versatility

7. Profit or cupidity

8. Curiosity

9. Recreation

10. Hobbies

(ii) Patronage motive

Patronage motives speak of the choice of a particular person, a shopkeeper or an outlet for purchase. In other words, he has certain motives to patronize or support and suggest a particular shop or a store; these may be emotional and rational like those of product motives.

(a) Patronage emotional motives- Patronage emotional motives are based on his wish or emotion or pulsive attitude. His decision to support a store is not the outcome of reasoning and judgment. His selection is founded on the casual factors and these are

(1) Appearance of the store

(2) Recommendation of friends and relatives

(3) Imitation

(4) Prestige

(5) Habit

(b) Patronage rational motive

All customers are not emotional in supporting a particular store. They are rational. They think and judge before extending loyality to a particular store. The motives of this kind can be

(1) Proximity

(2) Widest assortment

(3) Credit facilities

(4) Treatment

(5) Services offered

In the end a word of caution must be given that we have classified these buying motives as ‘product’ and ‘patronage’ and ‘emotional’ and ‘rational’. There can not be a water tight compartment for, a buying motive can be both rational and emotional depending on the situation- for instance appearance of store can be rational not necessarily emotional because a good store is known by its appearance among other thing. Again proximity or ‘convenience’ can be more ‘emotional’ than ‘rational’. Thus, much depends on how one looks at them.


Jealousy is an emotional motive of persons, the larger percent being the ladies. It is feeling of hatred, envy or inferiority complex in matters of beauty, wealth, achievement and possession. That someone else is lucky, successful, deserving impress upon the neighbor, friends, colleagues and relatives, people may be induced to buy sarees, ornaments, refrigerators, cars, buildings, paintings, furniture etc. It will not be out of the place here to mention the advertisement by Onida T.V. Company which says, ‘Neighbor’s Envy, Owner’s Pride ’.


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