A customer’s needs and wants are usually not the same. Now you must be prepared to identify the customer’s needs. If you’re able to pinpoint the wants as well, so much the better—you’re so in the driver’s seat. Unfortunately, all too often your customer will tell you that she can’t afford what she wants and will only pay for what she needs. This may or may not be true, though. It’s your responsibility to unmask whether or not it’s in the customer’s best interest to pay for that want.If it is, start explaining (selling) to her why that’s so. You’re using LAUNCH to show the customer what she didn’t realize was an actual cost-effective need.

There’s a school of thought that says you should sell every product or service your company offers, even if it’s an offering the customer doesn’t need. Do that and you’ll destroy your ability to use LAUNCH effectively—don’t do it! LAUNCH creates a solid, enduring relationship with your customer, which is far more important in the long run than any individual sale. Sell her anything that she eventually realizes she doesn’t need it and she’ll resent you for it—poof, your relationship is in tatters, and she’s bad mouthing you all over the place.

Remember this, selling is always a two-way street:besides listening and asking,you have to do a certain amount of talking about yourself and the rest of your company’s capabilities, too, which just may spark additional questions, such as, “If we could do . . . what would it mean for you?” Or, “You now understand that you need . . . are you aware that our—(fill in the blank product or service)—is the perfect solution for that need?”

The history of your product’s or service’s successful track record with other customers just may trigger additional needs and wants from this customer, which will spark questions like,“How have you done—(fill in the blank)—before?”Or, “What experience have you had with—(fill in the blank)—?”And, “What action did you take?”Or, “How happy were you with the outcome?”And, “If you could do it over again, what result would you hope for?”

If by chance you don’t clearly understand the difference between a need and a want, allow me to proffer a metaphor for your clarification: water illustrates the point perfectly. To quench a thirst all you need is plain water, nothing more, nothing less. However, thanks to water’s marketing geniuses, people have the option to quench their thirst with filtered, purified, mineral-infused, electrolyte-infused, flavor-infused, color-infused, sparkling, and last but not least, Jack Daniels and water. They can buy it in bottles, cans, boxes, packets, and five-gallon jugs for their water coolers. They can attach filters to their faucets or incoming water lines. If they purchase anything other than plain water, they’re satisfying a want, not a need.

As Mick Jagger sings: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.” You will always get what you need by thinking of the customer first.


The grocery list: organized people know it’s an advantage to go shopping with one. Make sure every aspect of the customer’s needs (and wants) has been written down. Now go through it with her to confirm nothing was missed.


Make sure you don’t wear out your welcome. Give the customer the courtesy of asking whether she still has time to continue. You want to make sure she’s still engaged and not concerned with the clock.


If you had to take the meeting without every decision maker present, you must verify when following up that the missing individual(s) is onboard with what’s been agreed to. Too often sales are lost because the ultimate decision maker’s needs were not satisfied.