Do you know the difference between the wants and needs of your customers? It is essential to understand how you can appeal to both to create a successful sale and long-term relationship.

If you try to sell your product without first understanding your customers’ wants and needs, you can come across as pushy and inconsiderate – not exactly the best way to close a deal. Instead, take a buyer-centric approach to be more effective and win more business. But, how can you not only identify your customers wants and needs, but also fulfill them? Let’s take a look.

Wants Vs. Needs Defined

A want is something that would be nice to have. Your customers likely have a wish list of features or elements they want, but not all of them are necessary or feasible. They may not have a clear picture of what they need but know exactly what they want. By satisfying their wants, you can establish a strong relationship of providing value. Your customers will be more motivated by their wants then their needs. When asking questions, listen carefully to discern what your customer is most passionate about. If you can fulfill your customers wants, you will delight them during the selling process.

A need is indicated by a customer’s understanding that action needs to be taken. The motivation behind this action may be to improve business, fill a gap or to remove outdated practices. Your customers may be feeling depletion or redundancy in their business, commonly known as pain points, but these pain points need to be significant enough to inspire change. In order to qualify as a need, your customers must also recognize that there is a sufficient positive impact that can be made by your product to warrant making this change.

Why This Matters

Your customers will be more receptive to purchasing your product if it meets a core need but more importantly, satisfies their wants. Think about the last purchase you made, whether it was something practical or frivolous, it had an element you wanted. By purchasing a shirt with an attractive pattern or cleaning supplies with your favorite scent, you made the decision to pass up similar products because they didn’t have what you most wanted. Understanding your customers wants makes it that much easier to effectively sell them what they need as well.

Making the Sale

The first step to a successful sale is asking the right questions and listening carefully. Think about this process as an intentional investigation leading you to a discovery that will allow you to understand your customer more deeply. This is where you identify those wants and needs.

Hone in on specific questions revolving around why your potential customer wants your product or service, how they want it to work and the impact they want the product to have. This doesn’t mean overwhelming your customers with all the benefits and features of your product. Now is the time to focus on what is most important to your customer, not to you.

In order to effectively measure the impact of the potential sale, you must know the goals of your customer’s department and build trust. If you can understand their needs and the impact of the sale, then you can articulate that you can uniquely provide solutions to their wants and needs. In doing this, you become invaluable.

This understanding enables greater alignment with your customers’ pain points and their businesses context. In turn, alignment between wants and needs enables you to determine buying intention and help your customers in their process. Consequently, you will become more valued and have a greater influence in the buying process.

Understanding your customers wants and needs ultimately gives you a voice in the room when you’re not there – the room where the buying happens. By fulfilling both your customers wants and needs, you are not only more likely to land the sale, but also begin a positive relationship based on mutual understanding.