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10 Examples of Needs Identification

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Needs identification is the process of discovering a customer's requirements, constraints, pain points and motivations. It is a basic personal selling technique that is used to understand how your products will be of value to the customer. This information is then used to develop a proposal, pitch, negotiate and close the sale. The following are illustrative examples of need identification.


An IT company is considering a commercial solar installation. The solar salesperson begins by asking about goals in areas such as sustainability, operational efficiency and power redundancy.

Pain Points

A business software salesperson asks customers about problems they have experienced with their current platform.


A cloud infrastructure salesperson asks the customer about their relationship with their current provider in areas such as support.


A real estate agent asks a customer about their budget and the timing of their job relocation.


A software salesperson asks questions to quantify the number of user subscriptions the customer will require such as the size of their operations team.


A robotics salesperson asks a manufacturing firm about the steps in their production process to understand their basic requirements.


An electric bus salesperson asks a customer how much fuel their current fleet uses each month.


A software platform salesperson asks a customer whether marketing or operations will sponsor the purchase.


A car salesperson asks questions to understand if customers are motivated by factors such as status, safety, performance, features or aesthetics.

Key Decision Factors

A real estate agent asks the customer to rank their requirements such as proximity to a school as either "must have" or "nice to have."
Overview: Needs Identification
Discovering customer requirements, constraints, pain points and motivations.
Key to developing an effective proposal and pitch. Understanding motivations and needs is also important to negotiation.
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Ambiguity Effect
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