Sales Strategy: The Key Difference Between The Wants And Needs Of Your Customer

Hi there! You’re in the middle of a series on Sales Strategy.
This is the third installment, click here to read the previous step.

The Difference Between Wants And Needs

Have you ever had a customer come up to you 100% sure that they want one thing when really they need something else?

This is because most customers don’t really know exactly what it is that they need.

A need, in sales terms, is something that solves a problem or perceived problem. A want is something that is nice to have.

Personally I like to address the needs of my clients first as they more often than not highlight how the wants are not as important.

Getting To The Specifics

As you build rapport with your customer by asking them open ended questions as we discussed in the last installment, you’ll begin to sort through all the requests and nut out exactly what that final check list of things your customer needs is.

It’s important to continue confirming and checking on the way by restating their needs back to them in a casual manner.

ME: “So you said, your phone needs voice dialling? Why is that?”

CUSTOMER: “Well, because I’m a real estate agent, I’m always on the road. My car has a bluetooth system and it would be great if it could pair up to my phone and use voice dialing to call people.”

ME: “Oh so you’re a real estate agent, that’s interesting, I know who to come to next time I want to buy a house! This phone has voice dialling capabilities and you can use this over bluetooth so it should suit your needs. So you require voice dialing, are scheduling and calendar capabilities important in your job?”

See how this can be a natural progression of open ended questions?

Build up this list of features in your head that they need, sorting them by importance if you can. Feel free to ask them how important certain requests are if you have to. This is all information that you need to build up your internal database of requests.

Online Information Gathering

As I mentioned in the previous installment of this series, it can really be quite hard to know what questions you need to ask and how to address them in a one-way medium like online sales writing.

Copywriting is a skill that can help here, but you also need a way to gather that initial information to help you formulate your copywriting.

Ideally consulting with existing happy customers is a great way to find out their needs, wants and objections. But if you’re starting fresh then sometimes you need to run a survey of potential customers to find out what sorts of things they look for in a product like yours, what scares them, what they would expect to pay and why.

Remember an online survey is a great place to ask pointed open ended questions with a mix of yes/no answers and 1 to 10 gradings of importance.

Hi there! You’re in the middle of a series on Sales Strategy.
This is the third installment, click here to read the next step.

Josh Kohlbach

Josh is a software entrepreneur from Brisbane, Australia. He spends most of his time helping e-commerce store owners. This is his personal blog where he shares his thoughts and other tidbits on online business and life in general.

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