Wants vs. Needs…Who Wins?

I want BMW 750 for my birthday, I need a car that get’s me from here to there. You may want a new F-350, but you need a truck that can get your shit from one place to another. Both of us make money from our rides, you directly, me by getting from one meeting to another.

But it’s what we need that wins most of the time right?

If we had our way, we both would have the new vehicles we want in the driveway, but what we need wins out most of the time. About 6 times a years(really, I looked it up) we opt for what we want. How does this translate into home services and home improvement?

Market to the need, but sell the want!

I need to get my driveway redone and I am fine with asphalt. My wife on the other hand, would like pavers. So, if you were a smart contractor you would offer me AT LEAST two options. Marketing this way gets your foot in the door to up-sell me (or my wife) on a more expensive job.

But how do you know what I want?

You have to do a solid needs analysis during your sales call or estimate to uncover the hidden wants most people don’t express unless you ask them. If you came to my house, my wife and I would have already settled on asphalt or pavers, and that would be the topic of our conversation. But if you mentioned other ideas or suggestions, then you might be able to open the topic to conversation again, and therefore open yourself up to a more profitable job.

How do you get to that point in the conversation?

You ask! You see, home owners don’t know what the hell they want, we really don’t. That’s where you come in. Most of us are relying on YOU for your expertise, so if you frame a question such as “If money were no object, what would you like to do?” gets the conversation flowing.

Now pay attention because this is when it get’s crazy!

The minute you ask that question, start taking great notes or turn on your recorder because the ideas are going to start flowing like a fire hose.

Then do your homework!

Take the feedback you get from that question and put in one column all of the wants. Do the same thing for all the needs. Then you come up with a few bids that combine all of the needs and some of the wants.

That way, when the homeowner starts reviewing multiple bids, they are reviewing multiple bids from YOU and just one from each of the other home improvement contractors they contacted.

Think about how powerful that is for a second, having two or three of your bids in the mix versus one from everyone else increases your chances of being awarded the job dramatically.

Why go through all this?

Because home owners are sheep, me included. As I have mentioned (a lot) I can’t hang a nail, so I need to rely on YOUR expertise, and if you present me with multiple options at different price points then you have a better chance of me saying yes to one of yours over someone else who only gave me what I thought I needed.