Creating a needs assessment to accurately understand your prospective customers’ needs and position you as someone who can provide solutions.
Many of us make the mistake of trying to sell our products or services (prescriptions) before fully understanding our prospects’ most pressing challenges (symptoms). Could you imagine your doctor handing you a prescription before taking the time to fully understand your symptoms? Of course not. That’s why we create a needs assessment to use as a checklist or diagnostic tool with our prospective customers, similar to what a doctor or mechanic would use before writing a prescription or estimate.
The needs assessment is a benchmarking tool which compares your prospective customers’ process or method to what you, as the expert, consider to be the industry standard or best practice. It provides a snapshot of the performance of their business (or personal life) and helps them understand where they are in relation to a particular standard. The result is often a case for making changes in order to make improvements. That’s where you come in.
So how do you begin creating a needs assessment? You could start by looking at your offering, approach, philosophy, process, etc. Then re-phrase these statements in the form of scale statements. For example, “I have created an assessment to accurately understand my prospective customers’ needs and position me as someone who can provide solutions. Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 is ‘Completely disagree’ and 10 is ‘Completely agree’)”.
You could send the needs assessment to your prospective customer, ask them to complete it, and return it to you prior to the appointment. This will allow you to customize your presentation to specifically address their challenges. You can now see how it could be useful as a sales tool because it positions you as knowledgeable in your field and ultimately as an ideal solution provider.
Creating a needs assessment of your prospective customers’ needs can help you more accurately understand their most pressing challenges while at the same time positioning you as someone who can provide solutions moving forward.
Discover how to identify prospects’ needs and position yourself as the ideal solution provider, right here in this video.
In this video:
00:40 How do you assess needs?
01:08 Specific questions to ask
01:22 What you must do right now
Hi everyone, it’s Tom Abbott here, founder of Soco Sales Training, sales trainer, coach, keynote speaker and author of ‘The SOHO Solution: 21 Selling Strategies For Growing Your Small Business’ with a tip on how you can increase sales and grow your business.
Have you made the mistake of trying to sell your products before fully understanding your prospects’ most pressing challenges? This is the same as your doctor handing you a prescription before taking the time to fully understand your symptoms.
How Do You Assess Needs?
You can carefully diagnose your prospects’ symptoms by creating a needs assessment. A benchmarking tool that compares your prospects’ process, or how they’re doing things now, to what you, as the expert, consider to be the industry standard or best practice. The assessment results often make the case for making changes in order to make improvements. That’s where you come in.
Specific Questions To Ask
Ask them, “What specific challenges are you facing?” “What have you tried to help overcome those challenges?” “What would success look like as a result of this solution?”
What You Must Do Right Now
Your task today is to create a tool for identifying the needs of your prospects. Ask intelligent questions. This will better position you as the ideal solution provider.
- Tom Abbott is the author of 'The SOHO Solution' and 'Social Selling' and the creator of the online sales training platform SOCO Academy. Sales leaders engage Tom for his proven solutions to building high performance sales teams that exceed targets and for motivational keynotes that energise their audiences.
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