There is a difference between wants and needs. I don’t need the car I drive; I want the car I drive. A 55-inch TV would work just fine in most rooms across the country, but no, we want a 65-inch, 75-Inch, projection screen. Needs determine that a purchase will be made, but wants drive what is purchased, and that is a distinct, and potentially more profitable difference for in-home salespeople and contractors. Let’s put it another way: You’ve all heard the saying “People buy on emotion and justify the decision with logic or reason.” The need is the logic and reason; the want is the emotion.

Remodeling Wants

Let’s look at some examples in your world. A homeowner may need a new roof because theirs is leaking, missing a few shingles, or just plain old. What roofing product they buy will depend on what they want. Do they want a basic 3-tab shingle or an Owens Corning Duration, GAF Timberline or a metal roof? A homeowner may need a new deck because the one they have has some rotting boards, or the support joist are sagging. What kind of decking product they buy will depend on what they want. Do they want regular wood deck boards, or do they want a composite deck?

There are clues you can look for to help determine the level of want in a potential customer. You should begin looking for clues as soon as you pull up to the house. What kind of car is in the driveway? Is it clean and well kept? Is the yard and landscaping kept in good shape? You’re trying to get a sense of how well they take care of their belongings and the pride of ownership they take in their home. Remember, these are assumptions your making, and you know what we run the risk of when we assume. You’re going to want to back up your assumptions by asking the homeowner some questions.

A good salesperson will ask a myriad of questions during a sales call to help determine the needs, wants, desires, and potential obstacles of a prospective customer. Some questions can be asked to try and determine a homeowner’s appetite for a more valued solution. Examples include How long have they lived in the home? Do they plan to stay in the home for the long term? Have they embarked on other home improvement projects? If so, what types of products did they buy for those projects?

Finding the Financial Balance

In reality though, there is a financial balance between wants and needs. You’ve all heard the saying “That person has a champagne taste on a beer budget.” That’s where you, as a consultative salesperson comes in. Giving them a product that will fit their need and is something nice that they want, and desire will certainly help propel them forward through the buying process.

Never assume what somebody wants or can afford. People want nice things if they know there are nice things out there. You should be prepared to present a few products and different price levels but strive to lead with your best solution. You can always drop to a lower priced solution if necessary.

Wants and needs are both important things to discover during a sales call, but triggering the wants can certainly help raise a salesperson’s success rate. Accentuate the wants and bring in the emotion necessary to move the sales process forward. Happy Selling!