it service management

Customers Wants Versus Needs

Published November 15, 2017

Consumer wants and needs should drive marketing decisions, and no strategy should be pursued until it passes the test of consumer research.

Turning the tables and switching perspectives is an excellent way to view selling. Consider visiting the theme of viewing life through other people’s eyes (your customers), and think about the buying process rather than your selling process.

Wants vs Needs. While it would seem the distinction between these two should be straightforward, in our daily lives the lines seem to get blurred. We need water to survive but we may want to drink $6 dollar bottles of sparkling water. Similarly in business there are things we need to do our job as opposed to things we want because it will make doing our job easier.

Listen Unbiasedly

Too often salespeople are actively listening for trigger words or problems they can fix, and as soon as the client says either of them, they jump right in and try to close the sale. The reality is that what they mentioned may not be a want or a need at all. Listen with an open mind and use keywords to get started.

Understanding how your client decided to enter the buying cycle is a key component to differentiating between a want and a need. The spectrum of reasons is wide—at one end they may know of a competitor using X to do Y, while at the other there has been a catastrophic failure event that cannot happen again. Can you tell which one is a want and which is a need? Could both of these examples be needs? The only way to truly know is effectively question your client and understand what moved them to enter the buying cycle.

Provide Them with Options

Identify the benefits and features you think your client wants most and spread them out across several different options and/or packages. If you’ve parsed out the benefits and features properly, your discussions should help you learn what is really most valuable to them. This may also be a good time to discuss your clients other buying options. Clients today are savvy enough to know about your competition, so bringing them up yourself has three positive outcomes — it shows you’re confident in your offering, it develops a deeper level of trust, and it gives the client all the information they need to make a decision they soon won’t fall back on.

The basic principle here is never assume anything. If you hear the client say what you think is a need, reiterate the statement using one of the keywords above and get feedback. For example, “So if I understand you correctly you need… While this may sound simple, it’s often overlooked. Reiterate and you’ll get the confirmation you’re looking for or realize it’s time to move on.

In order to help you and your business we need to open a dialog so we can best understand how SMART Service Desk can be your businesses solutions. We look forward to meeting your business needs and providing our very efficient cost effective solutions.


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