If you don’t know what your client needs, how can you make a compelling offer?
Needs analysis is the part of the sales process in which you learn in detail what your prospective client needs that your company might be able to provide. Needs analysis is a central and critical part of making the sale. If you are working with a qualified candidate, with needs analysis, you will be able to determine your potential to secure the deal.
Qualifying a prospect is about identifying pain. Needs analysis uncovers graphic details about that pain, the source of the pain, and the elements of the solution that can alleviate that pain. Here, you want to think about yourself as a doctor, or a diagnostician.
To be successful diagnosticians, doctors must have thorough knowledge of all the basic body systems and diseases and a firm grasp on treatment options, including surgery, medication, and various therapies. They do not need to be pharmacists or surgeons or otherwise capable of delivering the remedies, but they need to know enough to make recommendations and referrals that are appropriate for the identified needs of the patient. Diagnosticians asks questions that narrow down the possible causes of the pain so they can prescribe the correct treatment.
In other words, a good diagnostician needs to be a subject-matter expert. Like the diagnosing doctor, you don’t need to be able to deliver the cure for your client’s pain, but you do need to know how to help clarify the pain and then point out the best solution options. Many prospective clients have pain but do not know the source. It is also possible that they think they know the source but are wrong.
You are the expert. Your clients most likely only have experience in their own business, while you have seen many companies struggle with similar issues, address them, and get a variety of results.
If you ask the right questions, you may be able to help your clients find better solutions to their problems. If you do, chances are they will buy from you. In this case, you are no longer a salesperson but a problem solver, a consultant, a real asset for the client. You are not only offering a product or a service but you are helping the client understand how to apply your product or service to meet a pressing need and to relieve the pain that may not have been fully understood before you came along to help.