Definition of Need is

to require (something) because it is essential or very important rather than just desirable.

We all have needs – sometimes we are very clear about what we need, sometimes very fuzzy and sometimes we are not even aware we have a need until something comes up and we suddenly realize we DO NEED THAT.

To persuade someone to adopt your plan or desire or indeed to purchase something from you, you will need to fully understand someone’s needs, pique someone’s interest to create a need in their soul.

But everyone’s needs are different.

The 4 principles of all business

In business they will revolve around the 4 principles of business:

Trade – get a new customer.

Trade Up – Get a customer to buy more.

Trade Again – get a customer to buy more frequently.

Efficiency – make the decisions by the customer or the consumer easy.

In a social situation, persuasion revolves solely around Efficiency – can you make my life less complex and save me time or money.

In business if you don’t understand the buyers needs well enough then the ONLY place the buyer can go to is price which is the main route to profit. If your proposition, product, service, or idea can hit enough of the buyers needs then the price becomes irrelevant – consider it a bit like Velcro – the more of the needs your proposition hits the more likely you are to make your idea stick and create a successful sale.

Understanding the Avatar and their needs

Think of it like a dart board – you need to identify and hit as many of the needs of the other person as you can to get traction for your proposal.

The centre rings.

Imagine the needs of the other individual as like a dart board, in the centre is margin, volume and cost price, which together generate the profit by which all businesses are judged.

The next rings

The next layers all relate to the 4 principles of business –

For example:

If your buyer is asking for promotional support – this is really about attracting new customers for the first time, encouraging customers to buy more, or come back more frequently.

The outer emotional ring

Around the outside of the imaginary dart board is a ‘Double scoring’ area, these are the emotional needs that we all have things like: –

  • I want and easy life.
  • Make me look good.
  • Don’t give me more work.
  • I want to get promoted.
  • I need protection.
  • I want to look good in front of my peers or boss.
  • Show me respect.
  • I want to play more golf.
  • I want to hit my bonus numbers.
  • I don’t want to be taken fore granted.

We all have these emotional needs, but they are not things we can usually share or discuss with others very easily, we as the sellers must work these out by subtle observations and interpreting behaviour, understanding experience and other external influences.

There will be people in your social circle or your family who you know need protection from jokes and teasing whilst others need no such protection and may need taking down a peg or two. You don’t discuss it… you just know. This is all about observation and understanding of the situation and the environment and experience of the other person – it’s the same in selling – but most salesmen ignore this in the rush to make a sale!

The Story

Our story needs to be crafted to hit as many of these visible and invisible needs as we can.

Match our Aces to the customer Needs.

Our job is to match our Aces – the features of our idea, product, or service to as many of the customer needs as we can. The more we can weave into our story the better the chance of success and the less the price will matter.

Creating needs:

This is an interesting subject. All humans have what are known a scotoma – blind spots – these are designed to protect us and save us time, but they can also be limiting – we learn from our significant others and do things the way we are taught or observe. Sometimes these scotomas show themselves in phrases like: –

“we don’t do it that way around here”.

“We always do it like this…”

Sometimes we assume that the other person will see the world as we do and will understand the benefits our product service or idea will bring – but they just don’t!

A good salesman will always explore the buyers understanding of the world and qualify the needs are what they expect. A poor salesman will simply blunder onwards explaining unrequired or miss understood benefits of their product – FEATURE BASHING the potential customer into submission or frustration!

Trying to create needs and sell – beware!

The best examples of this I have ever come across is the private dentist, who just understand and loves mouths and teeth – he is a genius and can fix any issue his patients have – but there is a cost in the treatments – which to be fair, he ignores because the result will mean a better smile and aural health for the patient.

He suggests all sorts of ways to help his patients – but different people will react differently – some will agree some will disagree – he wastes a lot of energy on some patients and potentially undermines his credibility and lodges in the minds of some patient’s questions about his motives.

Some will welcome the suggestions to improve their aural health or their appearance whilst some will feel pressure to do something they don’t value and will have to pay for too.

World Class salespeople

World Class salespeople – spend time understanding the needs, values, experience and understanding of their buyer and consumer so that they can more directly tie their ‘Aces’ to the customer needs.


There is always…

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