Selling by Satisfying a Need

Wants and Needs Blog

Selling Skills:  Selling by Satisfying a Need

Selling is a process of uncovering and satisfying customer needs.  When communicating with a Client, we must be able to recognize needs for our product or service. A need is a customer want or desire that can be satisfied by your product or service.

The key words that customers tend to use when expressing needs include: 

Key WordExample:
Need“We need to find a way to…”
Like“I’d like to find a way to fix…”
Want“I want to improve…”
Interested In“What we’re interested in is…”
Looking For“We’re looking for a solution to…”
Wish“I wish we had a way to…”


An Example of a needs from a Property Manager:

  • “I have a number of important tenants, and they get very upset when they have a leak and they require an ETA immediately for roof service.  I wish there was a way to provide ETA information directly to the tenant.”  (Solution:  Email notifications through Centerpoint Connect)
  • “I get a lot of calls on an average day, mostly in the morning.  Several of my tenants have complained that the line is always busy when they call.  I’m looking for a way to make sure that the request for roof services is done through the internet.”  (Solution:  Centerpoint Connect Client Dispatch through Client Portal).

A customer need is the focal point of any sales interaction.  Customers don’t always state needs.  Many times they describe opportunities for our product or service.  Opportunities differ from needs in one very important way.  They lack a clear statement of the customer’s want or desire to solve the problem or to alleviate the dissatisfaction.

An example of opportunities from a Property Manager:

  • “I have voice mail, and while it works out pretty well, I do get some complaints from tenants, who don’t like to leave a message.”  (Solution:  Centerpoint Connect Client Dispatch through Customer Portal)
  • “I do a lot of traveling, so I have to call into the office to get a status on tenant requests that are outstanding.  That works out fine as long as my Service Manager is in the office.  Sometimes, he also travels.”  (Solutions:  Email Notifications through Centerpoint Connect)

As a salesperson, it’s important for you to be able to recognize the difference between opportunities and needs to make sure you are dealing with a need.  The fact that a customer may have a problem does not necessarily mean that the customer is looking for a solution.