What Customers Want

I WANT IT!

Like most salespeople, you’ve probably been trained to do a needs analysis with potential clients. In this discovery, your job is to uncover what their needs are so you can offer a solution that fills that need, right?

But, it doesn’t always work that way, does it? It’s not always so cut-and-dried.

The problem is it’s not what they need, it’s what they want.You can’t get so caught up in their needs, that you ignore what customers want. Because if your needs analysis uncovers something they don’t want the odds are it’s going to result in no sale. 

Zip. Nada. Zero.

You’ve done a great job uncovering all of this, but all we’ve got for you are some nice parting gifts and a home version of our game.

Sound familiar?

I related again recently in a LinkedIn post about my heart surgery several years ago. I probably needed it for months maybe years before I was shown the problem and then I wanted it. Once I wanted it, there was no discussion of price or terms or whatever…sign me up.

The same holds true for you and your product or service. How can you turn the prospect’s need into a want? Even though they may need what you sell, they likely won’t become a customer until they want it.

How do you do that?

It’s simple really. When you uncover the need, you have to make that need painful to the customer. You have to create a situation where remaining where they are is more uncomfortable than where you and your product can take them.

You do this with good questions and by focusing on the benefits for them. Again, this is something we learn as little, bitty baby salespeople, but never forget the power of the benefits. As you uncover the needs, turn to the benefits of your product and how it will not only fill that need, but provide a much more comfortable situation after the purchase.

If you sell water purifiers (I just pulled that out of thin air), then you can uncover the need by showing the prospect how dirty their tap water is currently. But, guess what? They’ve been drinking it like that and they kind of like the flavor! Hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

But, if you can show them how some of the minerals and chemicals in their water have been shown to cause disease or illness and by investing in your purifier they are putting a better product into their body and potentially eliminating long-term harm, now they have a want—not just a need.

Now, you’ve got something they want.

It’s easy to get caught up in a needs analysis and think you know exactly what the customer needs—and you probably do. But, here’s a news flash for you: They Don’t Care.


They only care about their wants. Once that need becomes a want you are on your way to a sale!