Language of Needs

Language of Needs

I’ve stated many times before that selling is not rocket science. Selling is a systematic series of repeatable events designed to produce a desired result.

Selling begins with your commitment to helping your customers succeed by helping them make decisions that will contribute to their success.

If you ask the proper questions, a customer will tell you exactly how you can help them succeed by sharing with you their needs. A need is simply defined as ‘a desire to improve or accomplish something.’ Some customers will tell you that they do not have any needs. However, you can be reasonably sure a customer has a need if they express a desire to improve or accomplish something using “the language of needs” – that is, words or phrases that express desire.

A few examples include: “I want…”, “I hope…”, “It’s important to…”, “I’d like…”, “I wish…”, “Our objective is…”, “We’re looking for…”, “We’re trying to…”, “What matters is…”

It’s crucial that you listen for and can recognize the “language of needs” that your customer uses. Failure to do so could result in you making unwarranted and false assumptions about what your customer is looking for, or wasting time on subjects that the customer is not interested in discussing.

Remember, it’s important that time spent on sales calls is mutually beneficial – not only to you customer, but also to you. Time truly is money. Your goal is to promote an open exchange of information and ask effective questions that will lead to a complete and mutual understanding of your customer’s needs. Without clearly understand the needs, it will be impossible for you to recommend a solution to help your client succeed – which is the entire point of why you are meeting with your customer in the first place.

I always remind myself by thinking in the back of my mind – “If I know their need, I’m sure to succeed.”

Have a terrific week,

If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at 612-278-0223 or

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