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The Final Step of Needs Analysis


Last week we explored possible questions that help us  determine our customer’s needs. Now that we have the answers we need to quickly match our possible solutions to the customer’s needs prior to presenting them to the customer. Here is a partial list of considerations for salespeople when determining the soundness of possible solutions. Here you go!

Delivery Time Frame- Is the merchandise in stock if the customer wants it right away?

Size of Furniture- Will it fit in the room? How will the drivers get it in the room? This might seem like a pesky detail but your customers will thank you for your thoroughness later. Your company’s management will also thank you.

Color of Furniture-It is critical that your customer likes the color of the solution. It would be much better if she loved it!

Style of Furniture- Same as color. If the customer loves the color and the style you are almost guaranteed the sale.

Suitability for Budget- I said in an article or two ago that long term financing was probably gone. I just drove by a billboard in Central Ohio with a 4 Year Finance Offer by a furniture store for their Memorial Day Sale. I am glad I was wrong! Financing is a great way to offer a better solution to a credit worthy customer. Before you make a product recommendation it would be prudent to know if they are credit worthy. We will explore this in detail in another article.

Suitability for Use- Is the solution appropriate for the use? Is it durable enough? Is it stylish enough? You should always ask yourself,  “Would you recommend this solution to yourself?”

Rule of Three- Pick three possible solutions based on the above analysis and show the ideal solution third. Top salespeople have taught me that you never bring a customer to the ideal solution first. Always bring the customer to two other choices first. After gaining the additional feedback then present the best solution. The rule of three was first articulated by John F Lawhon in his book Selling Retail.

Action Step-Go to my website at and post your comments on this article. Please post how you analyze your customer’s needs. I look forward to your comments. I apologize for not shooting the new videos yet. I will send you an email when I post them. Thank you for all the phone calls regarding the articles and videos on my website. I appreciate your support and your feedback.
Next week’s article will feature the presentation techniques that the top salespeople use to close more sales. Please email any questions that you may have to

Wishing You Success,

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Comments (3)

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  1. Alan Barnett says:

    The number #1 objection i come accross is, “not sure if it going to fit.” Where i work, we have an incredible talent pool of extremely good salespeople, many who have 10 plus years of sales success.I speak with them frequently on this subject. No surprise, they face the same objection as well. That said, the best advice they offered me, is to qualfy the customer as best you can, so the “fitting” issue is negated early on in the sales process. They simply said, if you know it is the number #1objection, get it out of the way quickly. Ask the tough questions early on, so you won’t have surprises later.

  2. Pete says:

    Thanks Alan! Great Advice!

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