Yes Eric, I know. We have personas and pitch decks. We know who our customer is and what they want.
I get it. You’ve done the legwork. But I’m talking about more than your documentation and marketing messages. I care about the fundamental mindset that drives your salespeople.
If you aren’t listening to the prospect right in front of you, identifying and addressing their individual needs, then you’re fighting an uphill battle to close the deal.
On the other hand, if you can satisfy a need, you’ll win. Need satisfaction beats all the fancy features of your product—every day of the week.Identify the need. Show the solution. Summarize the benefits. Close the deal.
Easier said than done. Sure. But also easier than feature-focused selling. Because the big benefit of need satisfaction is that it’s never about you. You take yourself out of the equation entirely.
Physicians Have Mastered Need Satisfaction
It’s a bit like being a doctor. You come in with a problem, and a good doctor asks you questions about your symptoms. They discover what’s wrong by identifying your need, and they ask follow-ups to develop that need so they understand it clearly.
Then, they recommend a treatment plan. The doctor shows you the solution and explains the benefits, summarizing how their plan will help you. Do you want them to call in that prescription?
Of course you do. Deal closed.
Instead of feeling “sold to,” you feel supported. You have a problem, and someone cares enough to listen to your concerns and tell you how they can help.
That’s how the best salespeople make customers feel.
It All Starts with the Sale
The ability to satisfy a customer’s need is an implicit promise. When you approach selling with this method, you’ll be more successful. But you must make good on the promise to meet that need.
If you truly can’t support a prospect, or if your solution isn’t the best one for them, act with integrity. The best thing to do is to let them know—now. Refer them to another resource if possible; then move on.
One action you can take today: write “need satisfaction” on your long-term Challenges & Opportunities (CO) List—or wherever you document the issues your leadership team needs to address.