💡 Business Tip - Wants vs. Needs (Issue #18)
Marketing and sales vs. fulfillment and value
“People rarely buy what they need. They buy what they want.”
— Seth Godin
This quote from Godin gets to the heart of what frustrates many rational business owners. We spend every day thinking about the problems we solve and helping our clients get results. So, we often know exactly what people actually need.
It’s tempting to cut to the chase and offer potential customers the solution we know will solve their problems, instead of wasting time on things they think they need (but we know won’t work for them). Unfortunately, if you do this, you will lose sales.
When I first launched my business and started marketing what I do, I focused my messaging around giving people what they need to solve specific problems. But potential clients kept trying to redirect me to what they wanted instead.
For example, in my career coaching business, people always want to create a fancy resume. They are looking for someone to help them rewrite it because they think a magically wonderful resume will help them land a new job.
However, based on my decades of experience, I know what they really need is something quite different. A resume will never get you a job. So, I know they need a different job search strategy that bypasses the conventional blocks and barriers standing between a job seeker and their ideal job.
But you know what? They don’t want to hear it.
The problem is, it’s hard to sell what people really need when they're so busy hunting for what they want. If you sell the need, they won’t even notice your offer.
So, you have to speak to that want. Attract their attention with that want. Later, you can delight them by giving them what they really need.
Sell people what they want.
Give them what they need.
My business grew when I accepted that there is a big difference between “marketing and sales” and “delivering value.” Now, I do tell prospective clients that I can help them with their resume, but I deliver 10x the value when I also show them the real secret to finding an amazing new job. Once you understand this important distinction, you see the pattern all around you with the most successful businesses.
“Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle.”
— Elmer Wheeler
So, think about how this applies to your business or business idea. You should know what problem you’re solving. You probably also know what your potential customers really need.
But how are they searching for solutions to their problems? What is it they think they want?
Speak the language of their wants to close more sales!
Hi, I’m Larry Cornett, a coach who can work with you 1-on-1 to design, launch, and optimize your business. I currently live in Northern California near Lake Tahoe with my wife and our Great Dane while running my businesses 100% remotely. We’re snowed in again, and guess what I had to do after the biggest storm? Did the salesperson sell me the right chainsaw?