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Needs-based selling: A necessity in the modern sales world

The world of sales is changing at a fast pace. The competition is getting tougher, and the buyers are becoming smarter with the plethora of information flowing on the net. To sell in this modern business world, you need to start focusing on the buyers. 

Unless you are offering something unique, your potential prospects have plenty of product options available in the market. However, most of them would like to deal with a business that would make an effort to understand what they require. They would want someone who would guide and help.  This is why needs-based selling is gaining more attention in the modern sales world. 

Get closer to your customers. So close that you tell your customers what they need even before they realize it. – Steve Jobs 

Needs-based selling-how to do it right 

Sales reps often focus on fulfilling their target instead of giving attention to the prospects, which is why most of them fail. Yes, you need to fulfill the goals, but for that, the potential prospects must purchase your product. Well, persuading prospects to invest their precious dollars can get difficult if you don’t spend time in understanding them.

In needs-based selling, the salesperson puts the prospects first and tries to understand what they need by asking relevant questions. Needs-based selling focuses on building lasting relationships that not only help in converting prospects into paying customers but also encourages positive word of mouth. 

Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement. – James Cash Penney 

1. Build rapport first 

People usually don’t share their concerns and problems with a stranger. You need to earn their trust and build a good rapport so that they can comfortably share the issues they are facing. 

So, ensure your research and gather basic information about the prospects before connecting with them. 

Find out details about your prospects and their company. Thanks to Google and various social media sites, you can gather a wide array of information to break the ice and build rapport with the prospect.

Yes, this research might appear time-consuming, but it can help in making the prospect comfortable. For instance, while going through the prospect’s social media profile, you find a mutual connection, you can speak about them to the prospect. On LinkedIn, you can follow the prospect and see their recent activities. This will help you in understanding their areas of interest that you can discuss during the call. 

2. Analyze the needs by asking questions 

Once you make the prospect a little comfortable, try to discover their needs. Try to find what fear, concerns, or problems are they facing. What are their requirements and goals?

Questioning is an integral part of need-based selling. You need to ask relevant questions to the prospect. 

Below are a few examples of needs-based selling questions 

  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  • What’s holding you back from achieving those goals?  
  • Can you elaborate on your current problem? 
  • Since when have you been facing this problem?
  • Have you done anything in the past to address this problem?
  • How much is the problem costing you in terms of time, money, resources, and energy?
  • What’s the root cause of the problem? 
  • How long can you have the problem go unresolved?
  • Why have you been dealing with this problem for so long? 
  • Besides this, are there any other problems that you are facing? 
  • How are those problems affecting your business? 
  • Are there any long term effects of these problems?
  • Are these problems affecting your current customers?
  • How much more productive would your team be if this problem did not exist?
  • What kind of returns are you looking for, if you get a solution to these problems?
  • Are there any specific things that you are looking for in a solution?
  • What is your buying criteria?
  • Are there other areas we haven’t cornered that are important to you? 

Make sure you listen to your prospects while asking these questions. Pay attention to their answers. Use the best CRM that comes with a built-in phone system. So, along with systematically managing the prospect data, you can even handle the calls, record them, and add notes about essential details in the CRM. You can listen to this recording later to collect information that you might have missed while the prospect was answering your questions. 

3. Summarize and confirm 

Repeat whatever the prospect has shared with you. While you summarize the needs, there are chances that the prospect might remember a few more needs that they might have forgotten to share.

Besides, summarizing the needs helps in making a good impression on the prospect. It shows that you have listened and understood the prospect’s need. Even if you’ve misunderstood any point, it can be cleared out at the right time. 

4. Offer solution 

Once you know what the prospect wants, show them how your product can help in achieving it. You need to smartly present your product as a solution to the prospect’s problems. 

Help them visualize the benefits they will receive on using your product. Be explicit here. Explain how the prospects can save money and increase their team’s productivity by using your product.

You can even use case studies of your satisfied customers here. Show them how you’ve helped someone from their industry in resolving a similar problem. Cases studies help in building credibility, so make the most of it. 

Wrapping up 

Needs-based selling is one of the most effective sales methodologies. You get into the prospect’s good book when you put effort into understanding their requirements. It shows that you are genuinely interested in helping them.

So ask the right question and find what problems your prospects are facing. Once you discover the problem, present your product as a solution. After you offer the solution, try to close the deal as soon as possible. Do not stretch it for long. Find out if the prospect has any problems and address it. Make sure you follow-up with the prospect continuously. 

With the help of an advanced CRM like Salesmate, you can put your follow-up on autopilot. You can create a sequence of emails and follow-up in real-time with your prospect. You can even merge your emails and texts ina single sequence to increase the chances of getting a response. Through the insightful reports, you can track the effectiveness of your follow-up email as well as text and act in real-time to close deals quickly. 


An avid writer who likes to explore new fields and research about interesting subjects. She is a versatile content developer who plays with words to express her thoughts. Calm, carefree and creative are the words that describes her the best.

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