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Step 3 – Identify Need: Defining Your Clients’ Needs

Once you’ve built rapport and asked some specific questions to determine the needs of your client, it’s time to recap with them what you learned and introduce your findings.

In some cases, your client may be clear about what problem they are seeking to solve and in other cases, you need to dig deeper during the “Building Rapport – Discovery” phase to clarify the root of the problem. Once you’ve gathered all the information you need and you are confident you can articulate their problem, you are ready to disclose your assessment and “Identify Need”. Until this point, you have merely engaged in meaningful conversation with some deliberate questions, intended to extract key information that will allow you to deliver your assessment.

There are a few things that take place during this process. First, this tells your potential client that you are attentive and listening to them. It proves you care about the discussion as you’ve taken the time to make an assessment. If you’ve misunderstood anything, that will surface now. You might as well know now, before presenting your product or service as a solution to their problem, if you are correct about their problem.

As long as you’ve been thorough (without causing the client to feel like they just went through a job interview) during the previous step, “Building Rapport – Discovery”, it should be easy and effortless to transition to Step #3, “Identify Need”.

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8 Responses to “Step 3 – Identify Need: Defining Your Clients’ Needs”

  1. Miriam says:

    Good post and it is very important that you address every clients’ needs in order to serve them properly.

  2. Cathy: I like the term Needs Awareness. It is a great way of express an important stage. To be aware of your clients needs, sharing them with them in a way that see that you understand their issues is a very powerful sales approach.

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. cathy says:

    Yes! Miriam, can you imagine if you go to the grocery store looking for a tomato and the clerk takes you to the broccoli? You would wonder if they were listening to you at all or, if they are even interested in your business! Some clients have different needs while others have similar needs. In any case, they may not be aware of how to articulate what those needs are. It’s our job to clearly describe our assessment of their needs and gain agreement from them.

  4. cathy says:

    Heather, you’re right! Need Awareness is such a critical piece. It’s a natural human desire to be understood and nothing is more compelling for a potential client to want to do business with you when they feel that you care about their needs enough that you took the time and interest to learn what they are! Thanks for your comment.

  5. Michelle says:

    After every consultation or meeting, I recap everything we discussed in an email. I usually give my clients homework so by sending them an email, it is right in front of them, they can print it out and cross off as they go.

  6. cathy says:

    Great start to your working relationship together with your clients, Michelle! The email sets-up accountability and collaboration. Nicely done.

  7. [...] 2/ You’ve had a meaningful conversation wherein you focused on their wants, needs and desires; 3/ You’ve confirmed your client’s wants, needs or desires (their problem) and they’ve agreed you [...]

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