Skip to content

If in Sales, Know the 5 Buying Decisions of a Client and 6 Possible Buying Motives

A post I added to LinkedIn last week, sales related, got such a good response I am prompted to address successful selling ideas again and expand the exposure via WordPress too.

I share in a packaged format related themes that originally were presented as two different posts:

  • Understanding the five buying decisions made by a prospect as part of a commitment.
  • Six buying motives that can be involved in a sale.

The topics are part of training I went through years ago with Roy Chitwood of Max Sacks International. Roy worked with my company in the late 90s when I was sales director of the Puget Sound Business Journal, a local business publication in Seattle. The topics are also included in his book, “World Class Selling,” that was published in that time period and later updated.

I will note I have always felt it important for sellers to understand the Five Buying Decisions that are part of a sale for a few reasons. First, all five elements are part of a sale. Second, understanding them provides a good gauge for you to compare where you actually stand in the sales process.

Both of the topics were originally covered by me in posts on WordPress in 2011. I will admit, though, that the Six Buying Motives post is the breakout “hit” of my blog posts. Although I did a series of posts that year, this one post got 75% of all views and, four years later, has maintained 75% of the views for nearly 6100 total (and 575 other views from the original post to LinkedIn last July).

To contrast, my second best post from WordPress from 2011 has 370 views all time. So figuring out buyer motives seems to have appeal to all kinds of salespeople.

To provide the value of the topics together I have re-edited and formatted them into one document you can read or download on Slideshare.

I encourage you to review it for your own sales skill development and share it with others in your organization, perhaps even for a group sales training session. The link:

Additional Resource:

My post last week on creating success as a new sales manager:

It got a good reception. It had nearly 400 views after three days, received 18 “likes” and has been shared 33 times.

About me

I have been in sales and sales management in advertising, marketing and media as a career. First in publishing, including USA Today and American City Business Journals, the largest publisher of local business media in the United States, then a shift into digital marketing. My current work includes moment M, a mobile ad tech start-up demand side buying platform (DSP):

I am also a community manager for Linked Seattle, one of the largest geographically focused groups on LinkedIn, with over 52,000 members.

Other social media:

Twitter: @SteveFawthrop

If you see value in connecting, please feel free to send me an invitation, especially if you are in the Seattle area or in advertising and marketing.–Steve

Like this post? If so, please share with others in your network who may find it of value or via a general share on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Other posts on LinkedIn:

Stephen Covey and “Seven Habits” revisited

Steve Fawthrop

Dear Visitor,

Thank you for visiting this post.

In June 2014 I was approved to blog on LinkedIn and as part of gearing up my posts I did an updated version of the “Seven Habits” post, including adding some supplemental information. So for something fresher I recommend the more recent post:

If you are active on LinkedIn and it makes sense to connect due to our common industry interests or location (Seattle/West Coast), certainly feel free to send me an invitation.

I hope you find some benefit to this post. All my new posts are exclusively on LinkedIn so if you find any value you can “follow” and get notification. I am shooting for one a week.




While looking up an old record I came upon a USA Today end-of-year profile on Stephen Covey noting his death in July 2012. His “Seven Habits” book had such broad impact,  in business and in general,  that it became a standard in the personal development field. While it is top of mind I though it worthwhile to make a brief revisit. It is a book, along with his related writings, that will be referenced well into the future.

To note, the columnist also put in a nice reminder that the subtitle of the book was “Restoring the Character Ethic.”

I realized rereading the story that Covey did not publish the book until his mid-50’s so he was a late bloomer on that front. This gives me hope I still have a few years to write my great book on business or personal development.

As a reminder to you readers:

HABIT ONE. Be Proactive–the habit of individual responsibility, the principle that while we can’t always control what happens, we can choose our response: we need not feel powerless, trapped or victimized.

HABIT TWO. Begin with the End in Mind–the habit of personal leadership, of discovering a personal mission and living out of a sense of purpose.

HABIT THREE. Put First Things First–the habit of personal management, of operating from priorities that flow from mission, roles and goals.

HABIT FOUR. Think Win-Win–the habit of interpersonal leadership and mutual benefit.

HABIT FIVE. Seek First to Understand (and then to be understood)–the attitude and skill cultivated by all successful professionals as it is a key to influence.

HABIT SIX. Synergize–the habit of creative cooperation that comes from exploring constructive alternatives, valuing differences of opinion and seeking objective feedback.

HABIT SEVEN. “Sharpen the Saw”–the habit of self-renewal, of implementing a daily total fitness program that rejuvenates the mind and body and enhances capabilities.


Steve Fawthrop





Google mobile head outlines rules for success

Steve Fawthrop

Steve Fawthrop






From Media Post May 15, 2012:


Tim Reis, head of mobile and social solutions for Google, broke out the mobile playbook for marketers Monday in a keynote at MediaPost’s OMMA Mobile event. The mobile strategy guide, which Google unveiled last month online, revolves around five questions that companies should ask themselves in approaching the medium:

*How does mobile change the value proposition?

*How does mobile impact digital destinations?

*Is the organization adapting to mobile?

*How should your marketing adapt to mobile?

*How can you connect with your tablet audience?

Read more:


Other resource information updated March 14, 2013.

HubSpot overview of 2013 trends and stats with many links and option to download an e-book:

Summary on a book about mobile marketing:

Mashable story on why 2013 is the year of responsive web design to meet needs of shift to mobile consumption of information:


Steve Fawthrop

714-876-7062, cell

Blog posts and comments still have value.

Steve Fawthrop

The blog site Six Pixel of Separation made some good points on the continued value of posting and getting comments on blogs.

The ability to share the information widely so easily is one continuing value as highlighted in part of their blog:

But things have changed… dramatically. 

Forget the popularity of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and more. Focus on this: if someone reads and appreciates a Blog post, they now have many more options to share what they think about it…

  • They can tweet a link of it out to their network on Twitter.
  • They can favorite the Blogger’s tweet about the post.
  • They can share the link on Facebook.
  • They can comment on the link that they shared on Facebook.
  • They can link to the Blog post on LinkedIn and also comment on it there.
  • They can do all of that (and more) on Google+.
  • They can just create their own post, on their own space about it and not even link back to it.
  • They can share it as a bookmark (with comments) on Delicious or Google Bookmarks.
  • They can push it out through StumbleUpon, Reddit or Digg.
  • They can respond by video on YouTube or Vimeo.
  • …and a whole lot more.

If you would like to see the whole post:

Steve Fawthrop

714-876-7062, cell

You can find me on LinkedIn and on Twitter(@SteveFawthrop)

Book review and commentary about former boss: “Basic Black” by Cathie Black, media executive

Steve Fawthrop

“I actually cheated and read part of this book in a bookstore when it came out in ’07, then spotted the paperback book at B&N recently and read the rest. Sorry Cathie, but no $ out of me on this one.What caught my attention is that Black is my former boss from USA Today.While the book was written as more of a career guide, especially for younger professional women, it incorporated professional and life lessons that often cited her experiences at “The Nation’s Newspaper.”

Preceding her time at USAT Cathie was a trailblazer of sorts for women in media and publishing. It is hard to believe, given the number of female sales reps and executives in publishing. other areas of media and on the agency side, but it was a very male world in media when Cathie entered the field.

Along with getting some of the scoop on her challenges in the earlier years of USA Today, before I joined the company, I also enjoyed reading about the life lessons shared after she left in 1991. For the most part I felt Cathie was one of those people who “had it together” but she is open in the book about how some mistakes were made and how her viewpoints evolved due to the changing work environment and, of course, the shift in publishing due to the effect of the Internet after she joined Hearst’s magazine group in 1995.
She headed up a multi-billion dollar operation and concluded an outstanding career in sales and media last year. She then took a surprising position as head of the New York public school district. While that short tenure-just three months-exploded it cannot take away from her successful career.I was fortunate to spend time with Cathie and many other quality people at USA Today. It helped establish a high standard for how I would deal with clients throughout my career. While we were aggressively out to make the sale-USA Today was not profitable until 1994 so our need was obvious-we still had a very clear client focus to sell value.  The was great value I learned from Cathie and the other management leaders at USA Today.
If you know a young woman starting her professional career, especially in media and advertising, buy this for her as a gift. “
Additional information:
Forbes website interview with Cathie about feedback on the book. 2 minutes:
2008 interview with Cathie Black at conference discussing media trends. 36 minutes:
Black honored for her role in helping establish USA Today in the market, Short article:
Black comments the day after her resignation has head of the New York public schools:
Steve Fawthrop
714-876-7062, cell

Review and Thoughts on “Whole New Mind” by Daniel Pink

Steve Fawthrop

Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

by Daniel H. Pink 

Recommended (from my review last  year. Updated with additional resource information).

Comment: “This book got a lot of attention when first published in 2006. It got back on my radar to read due to a recent recommendation.

The elements of the book for learning the lessons can be of interest on their own, but Pink very much positions the book out of individual and societal self-interest. He leads with the point that much of the basic intelligent functional roles-like accounting-are being replaced just like basic manufacturing and back office support jobs have been replaced. The identified reasons:

1) Abundance-As a society we pretty much have what we need and it is of good quality. This makes it  harder to grow consumer sales without being a distinguishing  product or service.

2) Automation-It has moved from blue collar, to pink collar to white collar jobs. Things can be done easier and cheaper without as much direct human involvement. This stunts job and wage growth while still increasing productivity.

3) Asia. What does need humans can often be done at a lower cost by labor in Asia thanks to cheap telecommunications and digital movement of information that removes time and distance as a cost. Pink’s book came on the heels of tremendous attention garnered by “The Earth is Flat”  (Thomas Friedman) which focused on the effect of global outsourcing.

Thus, Pink’s key point is that the distinctive value provided in the future will be done by those who reflect a unique, creative approach that cannot be easily or cheaply replicated. In other words, if you are going to have a unique selling proposition then you better be truly unique. Think of Steve Jobs as the poster child for this movement or an inspired story-teller like Seth Godin.

While New Mind

Pink focuses on the “softer” areas of human development as a way to be more productive and more distinctive. He has chapters on:

Design-The ability to produce with both form and function that is different.

Story-The ability to create emotion and distinction through story telling as a way to relate and motivate others.

Symphony-The ability to recognize various styles in people and movement within a company (or in society) and to productively synthesize and coordinate (like the conductor of a symphony) what is going on around you.


Play-Creative thinking. This is actually the largest chapter.

Meaning-The ability to move to a higher plane of existence and action in your life. Among some of the books he recommends is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl. I read that in my freshman religion class in high school. It is on the shelf (one of  my kids read it for school) so maybe it is due for a re-read in a whole new context.

Each chapter has recommendations and resources to turn to for each theme to help stretch capabilities and give you a fresh take on life.

All are practical taken alone but, like all things in life, tough to do. For example, he talks about reading different magazines to get different takes on life. As someone who is a big reader I open myself up to interesting information on a general basis through newspapers,  magazines and books. The kind of advice Pink gives, especially related to readings on positive psychology and life outlook takes some time and reflection. In contrast, I find more people surfing the web and some people feeling overwhelmed by articles that run more than 200 words. This is the conflict that Stephen Covey identifies so elegantly in the “Seven Habits” when we are doing the urgent vs. the important.

I think you get my point. Working on the various skills takes time and effort.

So my basic advice is:

1) Read the book to open your mind
2) Kill your television. We all have some guilty pleasures, but you know if you are spending too much time with Jerry Springer or cage boxing.
3) Stay healthy by eating right, exercising and getting sleep.
4)Give as much time as you can to your spouse, kids or significant other as possible.
5) Have a project going for personal development. It can be from elements Pink identified or other things to keep the mind active. Don’t make it so complicated you give up. Work through one area at a time. Activity naturally opens up other opportunities to stimulate interest, learn and grow.

This does not guarantee success but you probably will get a lot further down the road then some of the terrific folks who are guests on Springer.

Pink finishes by saying, “This new age fairly glitters with opportunity, but it is as unkind to the slow of foot as it is to the rigid of mind.”

Time to get moving.


Additional information:

Six minute video with Pink to give you background on his philosophy and approach:

Eight page book summary:  

Book summary done in a mind map format. Different perspective as a good exercise for visualizing the main points of the book:

Book summary as Slideshare presentation for reinforcement.  93 slides but a lot are teasers so more visual than content heavy but hits on the key points:

More in-depth discussion in a thirty minute interview with Oprah. She was a big fan of the book:


Steve Fawthrop

714-876-7062, cell


Am I the last sales professional? I don’t think so.

Steve Fawthrop

Dear Visitor,

Thank you for visiting this post.

In June 2014 I was approved to blog on LinkedIn and as part of gearing up my posts I did an updated version of the “Am I the Last Sales Professional” post. So for something fresher I recommend the more recent post:

If you are active on LinkedIn and it makes sense to connect due to our common industry interests or location (Seattle/West Coast), certainly feel free to send me an invitation.

I hope you find some benefit to this post. All my new posts are exclusively on LinkedIn so if you find any value you can “follow” and get notification. I am shooting for one a week.




I shelved a planned blog topic thanks to a post on LinkedIn that, candidly, annoyed me.

A linked article posted by a Google related group member had a heading related to essential tips for small businesses, but really undercut the role of a sales person as part of tips given. I want to address that.

First, I assumed the link, based on the heading, would be related to tips for better use of Google or other services like Bing, given the group interest. It was not.

The “article” was from E-Zine Articles. The site has a variety of short, advice driven postings (“Three ways to…”, “Five essential….”) that, I am confident, are written to pander to SEO rankings and generate ad revenue more than providing grand insight.

The article gave the tip for business owners to write their own ad copy (it was assumed they were being “sold” by a print rep of some sort) and that they should make no advertising investment unless they know for sure it will generate a 4X return on what they spend.

Huh? If you always knew you would get back $4 for every $1 you invested in some type of advertising and marketing, wouldn’t you constantly invest in it? Also, there was no explanation or justification for the 4 to 1 standard.

The article then added it is essential for the business owner to do their own copy writing and ad design because a sales person is just out for a commission and does not have a vested interest to be concerned about the business of the advertiser or their success.

This is an extremely weak commentary starting with the assumption that the sales rep, a newspaper or magazine rep for this example, has no interest in the business of the advertiser. It also assumes that sales person does not have an interest in using their knowledge and expertise to help the advertiser present their message as well as possible and to help get a return on the value of their investment in advertising.

I started as a local market rep in print media and expanded into national sales and other media in my career. I have worked with smaller, local businesses (retail and B2B) and with Toyota, Apple, United Airlines and other large national advertisers and their agencies. I matched recommendations or proposed ideas in line with the best knowledge I had about the prospect, their business goals and the assets I brought to the conversation: audience demographics, reach, research and different delivery options (display ads, inserts, online, event sponsorship, etc.) along with my own expertise and experience and advertising, marketing and general business knowledge.

As the account manager it was my responsibility, if we were helping with the creative and message positioning (obviously not something Apple has asked me to do), to best reflect the strengths of the product or service of the client.

Was this always perfect? No. Is it perfect today? No? Out of fairness to a local sales rep, if the client wants to run a 1X ad for a sale–assuming they are a retailer–and wants to cram their life story in an 8” ad, there is going to be a challenge in execution and, given the money involved, the rep and ad services department can only put in so much time on the effort.

A bigger challenge on an ongoing basis, especially when working with smaller advertisers, is their level of participation. They are more concerned with running their business that being a “marketing communications expert” on behalf of their business. They are not trained copy writers, graphic artists or website designers. They also do not want to put in a lot of time focusing on advertising. They want to run their business–which is their expertise–and sometimes that means they are expedient in their dealing with media reps, even if more time invested would really be in their best interest.

Fundamentally the advertiser wants to trust people, including those who write copy or design an ad, to do them right.

This is no different if someone is developing a PR campaign or search engine marketing campaign. If the SEM campaign does not have the proper structure in setting up ad groups matched to search terms, because knowledge is limited about the product or service, then the campaign success cannot be optimized. If the business owner sets up their own campaign, along the lines of the suggestion to write their own copy, it does not guarantee better results versus working with a firm that works in the online space every day.

In my career working in sales and leading others in teams I have not worked with people who made the sale to simply “make the buck.”  The vast majority knows their business, enjoy helping their clients and work to deliver the best results possible.

In the E-Zine article the columnist was simply being lazy.  As a true sales professional, I was insulted.


Steve Fawthrop

714-876-7062, cell