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What's the difference between wants and needs?

Sales literature keeps referring to finding and satisfying wants and needs. What's the difference between the two? - by Community Mailbox
Wants and needs are the primary motives for selling and getting value from your products and services. - by Drew Stevens
I think you'll find some variable definitions depending upon who you talk to.

Unlike many, I think wants are more powerful than needs. It is the "wants" in our lives that create passion, dreams, and emotional energy within us.

"Needs" are more basic, are more definite, and are more likely to be a commodity sale.

A customer may have a leaky roof, so therefore "needs" a new roof. This customer may shop around for the least expensive option, and look at the basic roof options as "commodities." ("they're all the same so I want the least expensive one")

But what if she wants a cedar shake roof because of the charm and visual appeal of this type of roof? What if her grandparents' home when she was a little girl had a hand-cut cedar shake roof; and as she grew older she became fond of that cedar shake roof to the point that, now at age 45, she wants a cedar shake roof on her Cape Cod style home just like the one on her grandparents' home 30 years prior? Does she "need" a cedar shake roof? No. Does she want one? Yes.

Which would you rather sell to...wants...or needs? - by Skip Anderson
Sales literature keeps referring to finding and satisfying wants and needs. What's the difference between the two?
You want to know the difference but do you really need to ? - by TonyB
You want to know the difference but do you really need to ?
Here, here!

Outstanding comment Tony!

To sell we need to show what is beneficial to the prospect - in their eyes - about our product or service. Whatever their hot buttons are, who cares what we call them ... ???

In my expereince many B2B sales are quite devoid of emotion. Did that change the way I went about my business in my professional capacity? Not one iota!

Call them NEEDS or PAIN or PAIN POINTS or whatever you like, this is simply language and nothing to do with relating to the prospect.

First time on this forum I have seen anyone cut through the baloney Tony!

Well done. - by Gold Calling
At times, the distinction is truly a fine line as, in B2B, the decision-making can be a function of both.

"WANTS" relate to emotions whereas "NEEDS" relate to something definitive within the specific business. The successful SR is able to uncover dynamics where both are at-play with this decision-maker.

For example, the competition was selling "feeds & speeds" when they approached the purchasing department with their copiers. I went to the CEO with an opportunity to bury some profit (by leasing the Xerox copier and a year's supplies). His reaction was virtually one of "enlightenment" because I went for the top and hit all of his hot buttons.

The $250K decision at Alcatel presented them with a tool which put them leagues ahead of every competitor in a "bleeding edge" technology area (movies on-demand). The $1million plus decision by LA County Metro Transit Authority presented them with an approach to noise abatement which ALSO cut multi-millions off their first year rail replacement budget (< 12 mo. ROI)!

When the "right" decision implies MORE than simply the physical capabilities of your offering (ie. the features do the job for the account), rather, the decision-maker is perceived by senior mgmt as "action-oriented" for having made the right decision promptly ... you've dramatically improved his visibility internally!

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Sales literature keeps referring to finding and satisfying wants and needs. What's the difference between the two?
My impression is that most books treat the two as being synonymous and that could be the reason for some people's confusion. - by Slick
I want a thousand dollar kitchen faucet but I only need a sixty dollar faucet. They both deliver water. - by rich34232
I want a thousand dollar kitchen faucet but I only need a sixty dollar faucet. They both deliver water.
I agree rich. I

And it's usually