Can you create need?

Most experienced salespeople are at least somewhat familiar with the idea of selling to a client’s needs. So how do you do that when prospects feel like they don’t have a need for promotional products?

For decades, business owners and sales managers have encouraged their sales teams to sell to the prospect’s needs.

Find a need and fill it.

But the reality of the situation is that the biggest problem or issue in your prospect’s mind is probably NOT related to promotional products. So how do you sell to them if they don’t have the need?

Can you create a need?

It would be great if you could, but it is incredibly difficult to create needs in people out of thin air.

You can’t just tell them they need it, although many have tried. “You know, Mr. Prospect, you really need to buy these promotional products.”

Yeah, no. Probably not going to create much need that way.

Maybe you can just turn it around in the form of a question like many salespeople have been trained to do. “So as you can see, Ms. Prospect, you really need to buy promotional products, don’t you?”

Again, no. Probably not going to create much need that way either.

So if you can’t tell them they need it, and you can’t just ask them if they need it, how do you sell to the need?

Well, first of all, understand that instead of trying to create need, it is far easier to channel or redirect the needs that your prospects and clients already have.

We all have needs — some of us more than others. But the most successful salespeople in the world are those who have become experts in identifying the needs of the prospect or client, and then gearing the presentation to position the products and services they’re selling as a critical component in meeting those needs.

So what does your prospect really want?

If you’re dealing with a business owner, she might want to grow the business, add more staff, or move the decimal point on the number at the bottom of her income statement one place to the right.

If you’re dealing with a marketing manager, he might want to create more awareness, get his message out there or make an impact among a new group of prospects.

If you’re dealing with human resources directors, they might want to attract the right people, reward the performance of a team or incentivize specific activities.

Naturally, promotional products can help with all those needs. But if you think the prospect’s primary need is for promotional products, you are very likely mistaken. That’s probably not what the prospect sees as the most pressing issue.

What if my prospect’s biggest need is that she has to pay for college for her kids? How will promotional products help her do that?

That’s a tough one. But you need to be able to answer questions like this for yourself.

What if you could create a promotion designed to bring in additional customers, get more from the customers they already have and get their existing clients to buy from them more often. Wouldn’t that generate additional revenue for the business? And couldn’t some of that additional revenue be used to help pay for college?

Successful promotions can cure a lot of problems and a fill a lot of needs. But not if you confuse the need with the product you’re selling.

Our products are not the need. Instead our products have to be positioned as the answer to the need.

Top Secrets clients are trained in the consultative selling approaches that connect the dots between a client’s perceived need and the products and services we offer, between what they want and what we sell.

So sell to the need! Not your need to sell a product, but their need to create a specific result. If you need help with this, join us!

If you’re new to the industry and need to get grounded in the essentials of promotional products sales, visit us online at If you need to get clients now with no distractions and no excuses, visit Or, if you’re a smart, focused, independent distributor doing a reasonable volume of sales, join the AIM SmartEQP community today at that’s

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