Archives for posts with tag: Need

One of the first things I learnt in economics was the difference between needs and wants, and how price indices were calculated using a ‘basket’ of essential items, items you needed to buy on a regular basis.

A want is a nice to have. It’s something you’d like,┬ásomething you may even lust after, but you don’t need it. A need is something you must have, and if you don’t get it, something else you don’t want to happen will happen .

As marketers, we need to develop and highlight products and services that people need. If people want them, but don’t need them, we don’t have compelling products or services and we don’t have a sale.

As sales people, we need to create or accentuate need in the minds of the buyers, as they won’t buy unless they have to, unless they need to, unless they see a return on their expenditure or a problem taken away.

We all should gravitate towards needs, scarcity and value. We should eschew wants, dearth, and lack of value.

If you’re in marketing and sales, your product will generally be perceived in one of two ways. It’s either a ‘nice to have’ or a ‘must have’. A must have is just that, something your buyer must have, and ideally by a certain time. These are the two conditions of the ‘opportunity’ holy grail known as BANT, where N is need and T is time.

I used to work in the email security business. Talk about a must have product. IT managers would call up on a daily basis either worried about the latest global virus to hit or because their network had just turned toxic from some ‘trojan’ and they didn’t want to be caught again. It wasn’t uncommon to hear them say things like ‘the CEO wants this sorted by the weekend or else, can you help us?’.

A nice to have is something you can live without. It means you don’t have a problem that needs fixing. You can sit on it for a while, do nothing – the secret, sneaky┬ácompetitor of the sales person – or even try and fix it yourself. The way to figure this out for your product or service is to put yourself in the customers’ shoes and say ‘OK what will happen if we don’t do this?’ If nothing major will happen, you have a nice to have.

If you have a product or service that is perceived to be nice to have, you have no opportunity, you have no sale, you have a problem. Then you need to start building a must have case, such as ROI, TCO (total cost of ownership) or the lost revenues or savings from delaying a decision.

If you have something that people feel they can’t do without, it is indeed a thing of beauty.