Wants vs Needs: The Battle For Your Consumer’s Dollar

If you are a fan of Madmen, check the antiquated ideals of advertising at the door before reading this post. Modern marketing methods are SO different from what you see profiled on tv, that your business will FAIL if you don’t understand one critical concept of the Wants vs Needs in the battle for the consumer dollar.

I’ve had this exact conversation four times in the past seven days with clients, so I thought I’d share it here as it’s a concept that requires some time to percolate into your business:

“Offer your clients what they want first. Even if it’s not what you know they need.”

… What THEY want first.

… Even if it’s not what YOU know they need.

The consumer mind is ego-centric. It craves fulfillment of WANTS.

When you are a solo entrepreneur you have likely discovered a NEED in the world that you are trying to solve one hour, customer, purpose-filled mission at a time. And at times, getting people to understand what they need is like banging your head against a wall.

You see, it’s not that they don’t know they need it. It’s just that solving a need feels hard, it feels expensive, it feels overwhelming.

If you are a heart-centred entrepreneur or a savvy-minded marketing business, your job is to wait a little while to get to solving that NEED. Because a stressed out consumer who is worried about money or time is not going to buy.

A consumer who feels sold too, instead of listened to, won’t trust you.

A consumer who feels confused, because what you said you do and what they get are different, won’t choose you or choose you again.

Your job is to allay their fears and make working with you or buying your product feel AWESOME. And AWESOME comes from what they WANT.

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They want to feel special, understood, unique, catered, coddled, appreciated. They want to feel they can afford your services or products. And they want to feel you have time to solve their problems and they have time to use your talents or your offerings.

But What if Giving Wants vs Needs Doesn’t Work

Now I’m not saying sell them something they don’t need. That’s unethical.

What I’m saying is, listen to the what they WANT and problem solve from there. Find something in your repertoire of goodies and good ideas that begins the process of getting them to what they truly need, by fulfilling what they want.

But if what they want you simply cannot deliver, it’s okay to tell yourself “you are not the ideal client” and move on.

Growing your business feels natural for you and the customer if you are on the same page, getting on the same page starts with “them.” If you don’t have a clear picture of who “they” are, perhaps going through an “ideal customer” profile might help. Because in the end, if fulfilling their wants before addressing their needs is too hard, it’s probably because you aren’t a fit. And that’s okay.

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