You’ve probably heard that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. That can make communication pretty tough sometimes.
But figuring out what your customers really want can be just as challenging, no matter what planet they’re from!
Here’s the problem: You may think what you are selling is the best thing since sliced bread. But if it doesn’t line up with your customer’s needs, you’re wasting your breath.
When you don’t know what someone really wants, you’ll be busy, but not successful. You feel active but frustrated that you don’t see results.
Every day becomes a chore as you pick up the phone or email, or set an appointment with one more person that you’re pretty sure will get you nowhere.
That frustration can be deadly.
- It sucks the life out of you.
- It drains your energy.
- Worst of all, it kills your hope.
And when hope is gone, you’re career, your business, or even your life is in a whole lot of trouble.
So what can you do to make sure you know the customer’s needs so you can meet those needs?
How to Discover What Someone Really Needs
My sales mentor, Zig Ziglar, taught this 4 step process get to uncover what someone really wants—and deliver what they really need.
- Need Analysis
- Need Awareness
- Need Solution
- Need Satisfaction
Here’s how to put it to work for you.
Step 1—Need Analysis: X-ray Your Customers
People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. — Steve Jobs
Need analysis is like an x-ray to discover what’s really going on beneath the surface.
Even if a customer is asking for your product or service, they may not be clear on what they need. That confusion can take them off-course pretty quickly.
You have to learn to acknowledge the needs the customer already recognizes and uncover other needs they’ve missed.
In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that it is your duty to discover those needs and get them out in the open. As you’re searching for needs, wants and desires will also surface.
People will often take action on their “wants” as well as their “needs.”
But be careful not to invent or create the needs and wants — that’s manipulation, not selling.
To sell is to serve.
When you uncover what someone really needs, you can truly serve them by meeting that need.
A sales pro, armed with integrity and an idea, product, or service that he or she believes in is a powerful force. The best pros do their homework and discover background information about people. But regardless of how much homework you might do, eventually you have to analyze your customer’s needs.
Develop an attitude of curiosity and sincere interest in the answers to your questions.
Step 2—Need Awareness: Uncover What Lies Beneath
The smart ones ask when they don’t know. And, sometimes, when they do. — Malcolm Forbes
Need awareness has two distinct parts. First, listen carefully to what people say.
Listen to identify specific needs then reply in a way that plays those needs back to the customer.
Second, help your customer recognize the need for what it is, so they can see how you can provide a solution. If your customers don’t see the need, you can’t meet the need.
Being well-versed in these 5 areas of knowledge will position you to make the connection between the need and what you sell:
- Product Knowledge.
- Industry Knowledge.
- Pricing Knowledge.
- Application Knowledge.
- Competition Knowledge.
Step 3—Need Solution: Show the Benefits
Step 3 is where you present your idea, product, or service.
Notice that you don’t start here. You invest the first two steps discovering and tuning in to their needs and wants. You’ve established your authority with the 5 areas of knowledge.
It’s the time to stop asking questions and start presenting solutions to needs.
But a word of warning! Don’t disconnect with your prospect by leading with your product at this point. This may sound counterintuitive, but none of us buy products. People don’t buy a product, they buy what that product does for them.
We buy the products of the product, which are called “benefits” or “need solutions.”
Step 4—Need Satisfaction: Meet Your Customer at the Need
This is the most important step when it comes to helping others.
- If you have a sincere desire to help other people…
- If you truly believe in your product or service…
- If you honestly want the person to benefit…
- If you really expect to benefit financially from your hard work and effort…
Then you’re now in a unique position to satisfy your customer’s need.
Ask For The Order!
Too many people go 90% of the way and stop.
They miss the close.
They forfeit the sale.
You’ve identified your customer’s needs and you have a powerful solution that has value. Now is the time to boldly and confidently close the sale! You’ve earned the right, so do it now and you’ll reap the benefit of helping them meet their needs.
Ready to Upgrade Your Sales Success?
I’ve created a cheat sheet to start multiplying your own sales success, immediately. If you follow this proven 3-step process, your sales will skyrocket.