What is Needs-Based Selling? Plus, 5 Ways It Influences Sales Performance


There are several different selling models and methods out there today. Many have been around for some time, while others are newer. Needs-based selling is an important methodology for businesses and their in-house sales teams and sales outreach teams to know about because it’s one of the most effective methodologies ever developed. Ultimately, it gives you the chance to get in the good graces of your prospects by taking the time to understand their needs and pain points specifically. 

The sales world is changing rapidly and it’s hard for companies to keep up. The competition is getting fiercer by the day. Buyers are becoming more informed and there is so much information out there that it can be hard for businesses to compete. Of course, you have to have your unique value proposition (UVP) to offer, but what else can you provide? How can you help your customer in the best way possible?

This is the basis of needs-based selling. 

How to get needs-based selling right 

Of course, like anything, you have to make sure that you’re approaching the needs-based methodology most effectively. That means understanding how it works and how to train your sales team to make it work for your company. Start by building rapport with your audience. Get to know them. Use social media and other tools to show people that your business is personable and ready to connect with them on a personal level. 

When you have rapport, it becomes that much easier for your audience to share the issues that they may be experiencing that have led them to search for a business like yours. Then, you will need to make sure that you analyze their needs, using questions like:

  • What is your current issue, in detail?
  • How long have you had the problem?
  • Have you tried any other solutions? 
  • What is the root cause of the issue?
  • How are these problems affecting your life/business/etc.?
  • What are your buying criteria?
  • Where have products/services failed in the past?
  • What could be better about the current solutions available?
  • What would make you consider buying from our company?

These probing questions will help you discern just what your buyer needs so that you can deliver a better sales experience from start to finish. It’s all about figuring out what they need, as the name implies. The biggest problem is that some sales teams try to make this more complicated than it should be. It’s really a simple concept, but it takes practice to get it right. 

Five ways needs-based selling influences your sales performance 

When you use it well, needs-based selling can be the tool that your business uses to launch itself ahead of the competition and into the future. Simply engaging with your prospects and finding out how you can best help them can go a long way in improving the performance of your sales team and the retention of leads and customers. 

When you properly employ the tenets of needs-based selling, you can enjoy benefits for your business like those listed below. 

1. Increased reputation and credibility 

Taking the time to focus on your customers and figure out what they need will add instant points to your reputation. People want to work with businesses that have a sense of authority in their industry and know their stuff when it comes to solving problems for people. When you build that rapport with people first, the sales come naturally. 

2. Improved customer satisfaction 

If customer needs are being met more effectively, they are naturally going to be more satisfied. Customer satisfaction is the crux of every business today and if you don’t get it right, you don’t stand a chance. Take advantage of things like needs-based selling to improve your customer satisfaction levels and watch your business grow. More satisfied customers also mean more potential referrals and plenty of other perks. 

3. Builds rapport and relationships 

As mentioned, when you are capable of building relationships with your prospects and customers, you won’t even have to worry about “selling” much of anything. Simply forming that relationship that shows them that you are committed to helping them goes a long way. This can make the actual sales process much easier for your team since the customer is already on your side. 

4. Removes the “selling” from the process 

This is a benefit in and of itself. How terrible are cold calls, sales pitches, and forced efforts? People hate trying to do this as much as the consumer hates trying to put up with it. Fortunately, when you use solutions like needs-based selling, you’re essentially starting the relationship by telling the customer that you have the solution to their problem. If you continue the relationship properly, the sale should come as a byproduct of the commitment to knowing what your customers want. 

5. Increases lead intake and retention alike 

When you embrace needs-based selling, even if you haven’t used it (or haven’t used it well) in the past, you will instantly see an increase in your lead intake and your retention. This is because people feel more valued and they feel like your business really listens to their problems and attempts to deliver the best possible solutions. Having more satisfied customers to cater to regularly will allow you to grow faster and in ways you may have never imagined. And then, outpacing the competition comes naturally. 

While you’re handling your sales tactics, who’s fielding the incoming leads?

Once you embrace needs-based selling and understand that your prospects need to come first, you will realize that this may include finding a better way to connect with them. Your team should be focused on vetted leads that are closer to buying than not, but you still need to manage those leads and prospects—what can you do?

When you partner with the dedicated virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you will be able to outsource things like lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even support for your outreach campaigns. And with our 24/7 answering service, you’ll never miss another lead, either. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai

Sales Tips
Lead Generation

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at Smith.ai. She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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