Even after a prospect has acknowledged the need for your product/service he or she will often still refuse to buy. This can leave many sales professionals wondering why they lost a sale even when their prospect needed to buy. A sales presentation that relies on the needs of the potential buyer as a tool for closing the deal is missing an important element. Your prospect must take a crucial step in between needing your product/service and actually buying it. To succeed in the selling game, you must understand that people do not buy based on their needs.
I’m going to let you in on a secret that could increase your commissions tenfold: people do not buy what they need, they buy what they want. If you need further proof of this statement, consider the following, people worry about their needs and spend money on their wants. Consider your own behaviors, how often have you known you need to take care of a project which requires your buying some product and put it off until the absolute last minute? Conversely, how often have you brought something because of how much you wanted it and then, after the purchase, come up with a bunch of reasons why you also needed it?
Take the following example: Rita owns a small IT firm and has created a relationship with a local business owner. He contracted her to set up the networking system in his office and home but stopped short of her other services. Since having had many conversations with him about the need for regular backups, Rita was surprised that he expressed no interest in upgrading her services to include setting up a regular information storage plan. Shelia had thought his need for a back up system would automatically result in him purchasing one.
Several weeks later, Shelia got a frantic phone call. Her client was experiencing computer problems thought that he may have lost everything he had filed on his computer. He wanted to know what she could do for him in terms of restoring the information and, more importantly, making sure this never happened to him again. Even though the problems he now faced were totally predictable, they meant nothing to her client until they actually happened to him. Rita was able to secure a contract to perform regular checks of the system as well as ensure that all information is adequately backed up.
This is all very well and good, but you cannot wait until some third party, or unforeseen circumstances move your prospects from needing what you are selling to wanting it. In your sales presentations, you must seek to convert people’s needs to wants by changing the urgency and usefulness that they attribute to what you are selling.
Action step: Ensure that when you speak about your product/service, your presentation always speaks to people’s wants and not their needs.
There are two easy ways to distinguish between wants and needs. Needs are fact based issues that have future consequences whereas wants are emotionally based and bring with them present appeal. Position yourself, your product and your service as a want and you wield great influence over your prospects’ decisions.