Biscuits, Drinks and Listening to Needs

” As I emerge from the boiling hot desert it’s like the scene from Ice Cold in Alex. Captain Anson is in desperate need of a drink. The scene where he drinks an ice-cold beer is a classic one. Demand meets supply. Such an obvious satisfaction of a need”.

So, as I emerge from the desert. I am dishevelled, gasping for hydration. Lips cracked, sunburned, everything dry as a bone. I bump into a sales guy. He sells food and drink. He has a promotion on biscuits. Half price and he has a biscuit target to hit. So, the enthusiastic salesperson launches into his best “biscuit pitch”. Great tasting, 25% bigger packet, half price, lovely and crumbly and sweet.

My buying signals could not be more obvious. If the salesperson spent any time at all to view my circumstances, recognise my situation or ask me what I want, he would have an instant sale of a refreshing drink. In fact, I would buy every bottle he has. Forget the price I am desperate for a drink. I don’t want a dry, liquid sapping biscuit!!!!

Another time, another place I would love a biscuit. A nice hot cup of tea on a winters evening in front of my log burner. I would love that sweet crumbly taste and texture. I would congratulate myself on buying them at half price and welcome the 25% bigger packet!

Learn to address the real problem

Very simplistic scenarios I know, but they make the point, I think. Simple SPIN. My situation clearly reveals several challenges; I have problems I need to address; there are clear implications of not addressing some of these problems and I, therefore, have needs. Sometimes I will know these needs. Other times I will be directed through appropriate questions to reveal needs. I will realise the importance of these needs and the implications of not taking action.

Revealed needs and gaining agreement to resolve them generally comes from skilled questioning from a Specialist. A trusted advisor. This is often the case within the Insurance Industry. We have a duty of care to ensure that our clients are correctly insured to mitigate all risk. Sometimes this requires us to advise on areas of risk that they had not considered.

Back to my thoughts. In what circumstances would one not reveal needs, or not reveal hidden objections? Personally, I dislike being sold to on my home doorstep. If I do answer the door, I look to be polite but will do my best to cut the conversation short and return to the comfort of my sofa. I might be cutting my nose off to spite my face, however, I am not in purchasing mode at home on my doorstep. Or am I?

I once brought £100 of seafood from a guy selling high-quality fish door to door from his van. He caught me at exactly the right time. So, I will reveal needs when its something I really want. He also up-sold stuff to me by explaining the very best bits of a lobster. I like lobster but he built on my interest and sold me the idea of having great portions of lobster combined with the prawns I was buying. What I am trying to say is if someone generates interest and desire, I will be inclined to have the discussion of a need. The adage…. PAIDA…..Preparation, Attention, Interest, Desire and Action….Still rings true in my world.

Buying signals are Christmas Presents…

Lovely gifts. Yes, sometimes they are wrapped and need to be carefully opened. Other times they can be unwrapped with the passion and excitement of a child. There is definitely a joy in giving a presentation. When I need something, and I am talking to a trusted advisor specialist I really enjoy revealing my needs. I like to show evidence of research. I enjoy the fact that I am being listened to and being guided to a solution. I then enjoy the recipient acknowledging the pleasure of receiving my gifts!!! Active Listening and empathy backed by skilled SPIN questions. Helping me buy, not inappropriate pitching. Forget the biscuit, I need a drink!!!

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