When I worked at the gym the key was to find their “Achilles heal”. That one thing that drove them down to the gym to “try it out”. Now every purchase there will be both a “want” and a “need”. But you will never sell to the “want” unless that want is either the Lust of the flesh, pride of life, lust of the eyes. Meaning, a brand new race car!
But for most purchases people buy on need.
When at the gym the typical person will say their goal is to lose 15 lbs., etc… But you will never sell a membership on focusing on loosing 15 lbs. at the end of the sale. But if you ask them, “why” they want to lose 15 lbs. that will always have far greater want and need.
Example: “Why would you like to lose 15 lbs.?” Answer: “I am going through a divorce and want to look good back on the market.” Or, “My Dr. said to have knee surgery I have to lose some weight first…” etc…
WE all know this but how do you ask someone’s “need” without offending them? And asking a person why they want to lose weight is far different then asking the owner of a company “why” they need to buy air compressors. There was two ways I noticed that have worked best for me.
One: Remember, behind every want is a need pushing it. So, ask as much questions about the want. And like a curious child, ask the “why” question until they can not longer give another reason. There is an answer at the other end of the equal sign.
Two: I have noticed that if I ask an “either or” question this seems to be less offensive and presumed.
Example: “Are you looking to get a car that has four door because you have a large family or is there another reason?” Or, “Do you have a family or a dog that will be using the back seat?”
The more open ended you can get the better your chances of coming to the truth. But since “needs” are usually very personal and private asking an “either or” with a presumption can sometimes soften the blow.