• AMi Direct

AMiable Solution #437: Marketing Wants versus Needs


How do you sell a non-essential but worthwhile product or service to a hesitant customer? Help them justify their “wants.”

Parents, in trying to teach their children the value of money and appreciation for the things they have (“But I only have one of these and I want more!”), often explain the difference between a want and a need:


A want is something that would make your life more enjoyable or make some aspect of it

a little easier.


A need is something necessary, something you must have to survive or get the job done,

like food and water.


When we’re marketing our products and services, we’d like to think that all of our offers are things that every customer NEEDS, but that just isn’t the case. So how do we help potential buyers overcome any objections preventing them from purchasing their “wants”?


Justify their desires.


Justify the price. If the objection is that the price is too high or that there’s no need to buy a new one because the old one “works just fine,” break down the price and show its value. Do you use high-quality materials? Play that up. Do your products last longer than your competitions’? Quantify it, if you can. Do you offer a long-term or lifetime guarantee? Say it again and again. Can you break the price down to a monthly, weekly, or daily cost (“for just the cost of a daily cup of coffee, you can…”). Give prospects a number that shows how digestible the price actually is.


Overwhelm with benefits. In other words, make your product or service too appealing to turn down. Identify all of the obvious, physical benefits, but emphasize the intangible ones as well. For example, that new piece of equipment not only handles a larger quantity of documents or items, but it allows you to get the job done quicker and with better results, which gets your product to market quicker, and it gets you on to your next task faster.


Reinforce with reviews. We can’t tell you how many times our own personal decisions to buy things have been made or broken by the reviews of others. How can a review influence a purchasing decision? For starters, they provide honest, unbiased, first-hand experience evaluations of your products or services. They also provide insight into your company’s culture and customer service. Reviews can reassure or warn customers of companies who do or don’t respond quickly and favorably to product issues. Finally, reviews can address concerns or benefits you don’t address in your marketing or may not even be aware of. If a potential customer can read a review and think, “Oh, I never thought of that. That’s a great idea,” then your buyers are making the sale for you.


What “want” will you justify today?


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