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The Five Decisional Factors

Let us imagine you want to buy a new car. What would your decision criteria be? Do you want an estate car, an SUV? What about exciting options (GPS, leather seats, etc.)? But more than that: you most certainly have an idea of the brand you want, a brand that you really trust or that you aspire to own. You have an idea of the budget that you are willing to devote to it, that will match the expectations of your wife or husband. You also worry where you should buy the car. For a new car, you have the choice between going to the official showroom or a dealer (who might be offering a better deal). For a pre-owned car, you would need to think what is best: to buy from an independent seller (would it be safe?) or from a car dealer. Last but not least, you would set a time frame. If this coincides with a family event (birth of a new child, moving or the like) then the time is more or less defined. Otherwise, you have more time and can take the time you need.

Let us look at John Hudson, looking for a new car (Table 4.3.B):

The five motivational decision making factors: brand, product, price, place and time correspond to functional, rational reasons. They are also deeply emotional factors, linked to feelings and sentiments. “It is about me and how I feel about these decisional factors.” (Table 4.3.C).

Table 4.3.B Functional versus emotional need



Emotional Need


My favorite make of car

I am fully satisfied with the German brand I have and am willing to purchase a new car from this brand. I am not thinking about any other brand.


A 5-seater family car

I need a nice new car, a real upgrade compared to my current one. I need a comfortable car, a family vehicle but one suitable for other things too.




I am willing to spend this amount of money to give comfort to my family and to enhance my social status.


Branded car showroom

For this new car, I will visit the brand showroom, in order to be sure to see the full choice of models but also the options, the service and after sales service.


This summer

With my new promotion to the position of Director, I would like to get this new car for summer time, and be able to go on summer vacation in it.

These factors are present in many different sorts of sales scenarios, and even apply to a financial investment plan decision—as in the one for Paul Morgan (Table 4.3.D):

With each client, I suggest you always structure the customer’s exploratory path with a discovery plan. It will help you to be efficient, thereby saving your energy and allowing you to have a clear mindset, especially during the selling process.

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