You have to know and act on the purchase needs of your customers to be truly successful. In Real Estate B-School, we use a simple chart to organize and rate needs based on type of customer. Here’s a quick explanation of how we break those needs down.
As you think about customer needs, be mindful they are different for buyers and sellers, so you have to approach each one differently!
Category #1 - Information
Just the facts! This is information about the service you offer, how to get it and what it does. Typically a high need for sellers but not as much of a priority for buyers.
Category #2 - Understanding
Here we look at interpreting of the information above. This is guidance for your customers on what conclusions to draw and what the information means for them.
Category #3 - Needs Clarification
Many customers—especially first-time buyers and sellers--don’t know what they need and will benefit from explanation.
Category #4 - Advice
Customers want someone to tell them what they should do. They particularly want guidance that is either objective or biased in their favor. You can fill either role as needed. I would rate this as a high need for sellers and a medium need for buyers.
Category #5 - Assistance
Once you’ve given advice and direction, you need to help customers do what they can’t do themselves.
Category #6 - Reassurance
Get the customer comfortable with their decision, whatever it is. This is basic sales, but it’s easy to forget. Craft your reassurances based on their needs.
Category #7 - Transaction Processing
The sales transaction itself: money for services. Make it as easy and painless as possible for your customers.
Once you’ve taken stock of a customer’s needs based on these categories, you can look objectively at your process to see what works and what doesn’t. Make sure you’re truly addressing each customer’s needs. Slow down, put yourself in their shoes and the pieces will fall into place.