Negotiation Skills: Advantages of understanding Motivators

Prior to any negotiations, it is important to be properly prepared. This means you need to collect sufficient information about what is motivating both you and the other party.


Motivations are what drives someone to act a certain way. There is a distinct relationship between objectives and motivations when purchasing something.  Objectives are the ‘what’ while motivations are the ‘why’. Therefore Motivations for the purchase will influence the way the person approaches  negotiations.


You need to know the answer to this important question: Why is this important to them, why do they need it? Without understanding the motives, you are merely guessing at what the other person is trying to achieve.  For example, no-one ever bought a drill because they wanted a drill. The motivator is that they need a hole. When you know what type of hole they need and why, you can negotiate terms for the drill. Understanding the answer to this question will help you steer your negotiation in the right direction so you can find a solution that works for the other party.


Motives also help to establish the value of things. If you want to know how motivated the other side is to take your deal, you need to consider how much they value what you are offering. The more value your product or service has to them, the more motivated they will be to reach a deal with you. The logic is simple: the greater the value you can offer, the more successfully a deal can be reached.

What do you want out of negotiations?

On the other hand, you also need to understand your own motives. This will help you when it comes time to make concessions. By establishing what your motives are and what is most important to you, you can stay on track to achieve your objectives. Being well aware of your motives will ensure that you don’t concede something that is important to you.


This mutual understanding of motives will ultimately help you close the deal.

For more information on negotiation, have a look at our Four Stages of Successful Negotiation blog!