Needs vs. Wants

This week on the podcast Chris Elmore and Chris Loudermilk discuss needs versus wants. You have to be good at recognizing the difference and identifying both with your customers. The guys talk about the differences between needs and wants, how you uncover both, and presenting both. 

The Differences Between Needs and Wants

 When we think of needs, it’s usually the basics that come to mind. In the trades, this means that the system is doing what it’s supposed to do – cooling the air, heating the water, delivering electricity. Needs are usually what the customer calls you about. Wants, on the other hand, are things that enhance our lives. For our customers this could mean water treatment, indoor air quality products, or USB outlets. 

Uncovering Needs and Wants

When we want to know more about the clusters needs, we usually use our technical knowledge. This allows us to find what isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do. In the SET process this is “Evaluation with Questions” and “System Diagnostic.” To uncover wants, we need to work with our customer communication skills. Evaluating by asking great questions about things other than what isn’t working.  You need to find out how the customer lives with the system if you want to uncover wants. Also, remember that needs are usually not connected with positive emotions while wants do create positive emotions. 

Presenting Needs and Wants

 When presenting, you must keep in mind the origin of needs and wants. The customer called you out because of a need. Address that before anything else when you present. When presenting needs, remember to “tie back.” Tie back to the answers to your questions in the evaluation. Tie back to the needs you discovered. When something goes wrong on a system, there is usually a cause that could have been prevented by a want – a club membership, an IAQ product, water treatment, whole home surge protector, etc. Make sure you make your presentation by showing how the issues were caused and a what the issue possibly caused. This is how needs and wants work together. 

Knowing the difference between Needs and Wants will help you serve your customer better by helping you make a great presentation. 

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