Force Success!

Ask most company managers and they’ll tell you the key to satisfying customers is to “do what the customer wants.” Although this is a reasonable answer, I believe in embracing the philosophy of “doing what the customer needs” instead. Although it takes extra time to educate a customer and merge their wants with newly learned needs, it leads to a more satisfied customer and it’s the right thing to do.

You are an expert in your field and your customer is not. You’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. How you discover what your customer wants and how you make recommendations on what your customer really needs can be the difference between success and failure. Here are three steps to get buy-in on realistic customer needs:


  1. Frame the Terms: Use the words “wants” and “needs” and gain agreement with your potential customer on their meaning in regards to your services.
  2. Discover Their Wants: Take notes as you ask a lot of questions to determine your potential customer’s wants. With each response, ask, “Why do you want that?” Then, verbally summarize their responses and gain confirmation on both their stated wants and their reasons. Your customer will be more willing to buy in to your recommendations if she feels you fully heard and understood her reasons behind her stated desires.
  3. Make Your Case Using Their Reasons as a Basis: As you make your recommendations on what you believe will best satisfy your potential customer’s true needs, bring up the reasons they stated for their list of wants. Align your narrative with their reasons as you recommend your best solutions.

Production Begins on 2013 Diamond Certified Directory, Expansion Planned
We’ve started working on the 2013 Diamond Certified Directory. This year, we’re adding a Napa County edition and a new type of digital Diamond Certified Directory Update (big news to follow).

By design, the directory attracts the better type of customers: families that are seeking a quality local company. That’s why the Diamond Certified Directory is the most requested directory in Northern California. In the past year alone, we’ve had more than 10,000 families contact us and request one. So, we print 840,000 directories and only mail them to requesting families and homeowners who can afford to pay for quality local companies. These are households that earn more than $75,000 per year in income. They use their Diamond Certified Directory to be absolutely positive that they’re making a good decision.

Rapid Growth of Redesigned Diamond Certified Mobile Site!
As the table below shows, in September, a record 5,510 users sought top-rated Diamond Certified companies on our completely redesigned mobile site. That’s up 46% from January! The redesign makes it simple for iPhone and Android users to find top-rated Diamond Certified companies and call them with a simple click. Check out a few profiles by accessing from your smart phone.

Jim Stein, Founder and CEO

About Jim Stein, Founder and CEO

Jim Stein is the founder and CEO of American Ratings Corporation. Through his interactions with more than 6,000 local companies and analysis of over 1 million consumer survey responses, Jim has developed easy-to-understand strategies for consumers to enjoy consistently positive customer experiences and for companies to better satisfy customers, increase referral rates and reduce customer attrition.
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2 Responses to Force Success!

  1. M. Stephen says:

    “How you discover what your customer wants and how you make recommendations on what your customer really needs can be the difference between success and failure.”

    I’ve found this to be true of good auto repair shops. Recently, I took my car to a mechanic because my headlight was out and replacing it required the removal of an entire section that I wasn’t qualified to do myself. While performing the work, the mechanic noticed my right front tire was worn to the point of being dangerous, but instead of pressuring me into a service I didn’t originally “want,” he explained exactly why I needed it fixed sooner than later. I opted to take the car back without having him fix the tire, but his approach still rang true with me. The way he made his recommendation gave me confidence in his ability to fulfill my needs, and I’ll definitely remember him for future car work.

  2. S. Rutan says:

    Great blog post! Since many consumers may feel that they know what they want, sometimes they don’t know what is needed and it is important for a company to make sure they educate them on what they need. I appreciate the three step process on how to push for real needs as well. This is helpful when working with consumers and adopting this new philosophy.

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