Needs vs Wants

My wife and business partner, Angela, taught me one of the most valuable sales lessons I’ve ever learned; the difference between selling to a need, versus selling to a want.
When she sold Fords and GM’s, she sold to a need. Families needed a van to take the kids to school or a car to replace their dying relic in order to get to work. These were largely transactional buyers looking for basic transportation needs to be filled at the lowest possible cost. They did not look forward to spending money on another vehicle.
When she began to work at BMW, she quickly discovered nobody needs a BMW. At BMW, the customers bought what they wanted rather than being sold what they needed.  There was a huge difference in the customer relationship at BMW.  Customers were actually excited about buying their new BMW while the needs buyers were skeptical and nervous.
While the Ford and GM buyer shopped all over town and had no loyalty, the BMW buyers became life long friends who still send Angela cards and letters today even though she’s out of the business and works with me.
Do your sales people know how to build relationships to the next level, going beyond selling solutions to needs?
Traditional needs analysis and solutions selling are great door-opening strategies. But the cost of the cure cannot exceed the price of the pain in needs selling.
To build more profitable customer relationships you need to get beyond appealing to needs and become a partner in filling the wants of your key accounts.
Needs are largely short term band-aid… “I must sell four cars today.”  Wants are longer term and visionary in scope… “I want to be the largest dealer in the county within five years.”
When you become the conduit to filling the vision instead of the need, you are on your way to partnering in a more profitable customer relationship.

Click here to arrange a free demo of our “Becoming a Master Questioner” sales workshop to help your account executives uncover what your clients want.