Communicating clearly is always the goal of the salesperson, but not always a consideration of your customer.

“I want it soft. I want it red. I want it big. And I want it now.”

But what do their “want’s” really mean? It’s all about reading between the lines.

When your customer wants safety, security, nourishment, a good night’s sleep, or good health, what they are expressing to you is that they need more rudimentary physiological and safety needs as found at the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.


NOTE: There is a very good chance that they are not functioning well. They may be living in a place of discomfort, fear, or even desperation.

When a customer tells you they want to buy something ‘cool’ unique, interesting, or relevant, they are telling you they have a need to belong and be loved, admired, or respected.

Those people who want something expensive, flashy, or bigger and better than their neighbor are seeking to fulfill their self-esteem, ego, and prestige. They want to appear in an elevated class, even if they are not.

And when, and only when all of the lower needs are fulfilled, can people get to a place where everything else doesn’t matter, and the things they buy simply serve the purpose they were intended for. Very few people ascend to a position of self-actualization, as there is an unrelenting force always trying to pull us down into despair.

As a helpful exercise in your business, write down all the different things customers say they want. Once you have a good list, place them in one of the five sections on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

When you discover the power of reading between the lines, you will see the signs everywhere.

When you understand and speak directly to the customer’s underlying needs, you become powerfully persuasive.

For every want, there is an underlying need. Therefore, fulfilling needs is the only thing people want.

Good selling.