In sales, people talk about “wants and needs” as if they’re the same thing. Or at least interchangeable. But wants and needs are very different from each other, and if you want to increase your sales, it’s crucial to recognize that.

Needs can be physical (food, shelter, transportation) or emotional (ego, security, love). Wants, however, are always emotional. Whenever we buy something, it’s because the purchase satisfies a want. It may or may not satisfy an actual need.

When wants and needs coincide, selling is relatively easy. But when wants are in conflict with needs, danger looms. Because whenever a want conflicts with a need, the want always wins. Always.

Which means if you’re selling something based on need and your prospect wants to avoid spending money right now, there’s no sale. Unless you can figure out another want the prospect has that the purchase of your product or service will satisfy.

So as you’re talking with your prospect, ask about all their wants and needs, not just the obvious ones. The more wants you can uncover, the greater your chances of making the sale.

And isn’t that just what you want?