Lead with Need

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We never lead with product; we lead with need. Everyone listens to the same radio station, according to my friend and fellow sales trainer Don Hutson. Don says, and I agree completely, that every one of us listens to radio station WII-FM—and those call letters stand for What’s In It For Me? We must relate to the prospect in terms of need, not in terms of product.

Communication consultant Nick Dalley has done some contract work for our organization. It had been several months since any of us had seen him, and several people noticed that there was something different about Nick when he returned to help us with a particular project. We eventually realized he was wearing braces on his teeth. Finally, someone’s curiosity led him to ask Nick why he wanted braces.

Nick’s answer contains a valuable lesson about WII-FM and leading with need. He responded, “I don’t want braces. I want straight teeth.”

Please don’t waste your time and the prospects’ time telling them what the product IS. Tell them what it can DO and why it will do it for them. Learn how to tell people what you are selling, what it does, and why it will do what it does for them better than anything else!


Zig Ziglar was known as America’s Motivator. He authored 32 books and produced numerous training programs. He will be remembered as a man who lived out his faith daily.

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