Want vs Need


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There is a huge difference between want and need when it comes to Customers. Trying to fill a need is useless unless you can create a want in the Customer.

I found myself in the want/need situation on a trip to Arizona.
While visiting with my friend Mike Fong in Phoenix a couple years ago, we headed up to Lake Pleasant to do some stand up paddleboarding. Just a little north of Phoenix we spotted Fidel on the side of the road. Fidel was selling pottery from Mexico and he had some beautiful stuff. I spied these two pots and knew they would go well in my southwest themed breezeway. It was time to negotiate. While Fidel could speak some English, I couldn’t speak any Spanish, so Mike took over. When we left for the lake, I had purchased these two pots for $50. What a deal!

When we got back to the house, I showed my deal to Karen and she thought they were really nice, but then asked how I was going to get them back to Maine. You know sometimes when you’re forging ahead into the future, you can’t think of everything. I confidently replied that we would just stop by the UPS store on the way to the airport and all would be good. Then Mike and I fired up the barbeque and opened some Mexican beer to celebrate Fidel, and also my great purchase.

What a surprise!

The next morning I said my goodbyes to Karen and Mike and I headed to the airport with a quick stop at the UPS store. The store was right on the way and the lady was very nice. She measured the pots, took all the delivery info and then informed me that the cost to ship Fidel’s pots to my house in Maine would be $150. The UPS store fell silent. What to do now. I really didn’t NEED these pots. Mike could easily sell them locally and get my money back with probably a little profit. But I’ll tell you what. I WANTED those pots. I could visualize how good they would look at my house in Maine. Nobody else around me would have anything like Fidel’s pots. I paid the shipping which was three times the cost of the pots, but they were a wonderful gift to my wife.

Because I WANTED these pots and could visualize them in my house, I paid more than I was prepared to pay for shipping, when I had another option that I chose not to use, which really made more sense. Whenever I look at these pots, I’m reminded of the difference between NEED and WANT. I’m also reminded that I have the only set like them in Union, Maine. Probably the only set like them in the whole state! And they look great! What a deal!

Bill Packard
Your Customer Service Coach, Bill Packard was born in Camden, ME. and has lived in mid-coast Maine all his life, so far. Bill has combined starting four businesses from scratch, almost ten years as a manager in corporate America, and over fifty years as a Customer into a business to assist microbusinesses to retain a strong Customer base and add new Customers in affordable ways. BPackard.com offers down to earth, common sense strategies to help entrepreneurs get a handle on their business and gain the freedom they deserve and work so hard for.


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