How To Differentiate Between What The Customer Wants & Needs

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

5 March, 2018

wants and needsIn conversations with salespeople, we sometimes ask if they know the differences between prospects’ needs and prospects’ wants.

It may sound pedantic, but it can make a real difference in presenting solutions.

Oftentimes, prospects will confuse their wants with their needs and vice versa.

Their needs often revolve around the business; their wants often revolve around their personal gains.

For example, they may say that they want a bigger discount from you.

You need to determine the reason for this.

Just because your competitor is offering a higher discount, or is cheaper than you’re offering, is not a valid reason, or a need.

You need to be absolutely clear on what the rationale is they are using to request this.

It could be they are simply being greedy.

Or they have to justify the price they are paying to your boss.

Or (and this could be the main need) they have to make more revenue and think that getting a bigger discount from you will help them achieve that.

So, here you have recognised that the real need is to increase revenue, and they want you to increase discounts in order to achieve that end goal, or need.

It may be possible, then, for them to increase their revenue by selling more of your products, and identifying how their business operations can be adjusted to accomplish this could be a way forward.

It entails being a consultant to their business, rather than a salesperson of goods and services.

But it offers a level of service that other competitors may not have offered before.

A need, then, outweighs a want in its achieving of business goals.

Determining how you can uncover those needs creates a closer relationship and identifies a stronger force in the decision-making process.

Some people have fears about what will happen in their business if they don’t achieve their goals.

By helping them move away from those situations, you lessen the fears and help them build confidence.

Others have opportunities to achieve goals and they need help to move towards them.

This is a chance for you to discuss the gains they would get from your products and services.

Either way, by uncovering a real need, the door starts to open toward making a decision that will ultimately help them attain their needs and their wants.

That will help them improve their businesses and they’ll thank you for supporting them in that achievement.

Happy selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Sales Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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