Needs Analysis: Too Needy to Succeed?

Like a toddler in a toy store, some businesses, sales people, and entrepreneurs get in the “needs analysis mode:” what THEY need, that is, and not what the customer or business alliance members need. The “needy” get caught up in worrying about filling their own toy boxes and shopping carts and forget that when it comes to marketing and sales it is about relationships and the customer needs, not the sellers’.

If I Don’t Get What I Want … I’ll Take My Toys and Go Home

“I want it!”

“You should help me!”

“You’re not doing what I want you to do!”

“I need and want …”

You’ve received them before: emails with that “all about me” tone, the email from someone joining in a group to co-market events or jointly present and develop programs. But suddenly it becomes about how little they can do, but how much YOU need to do to work around THEIR schedules and THEIR needs. Then comes the complaint of “How unfair it is that when the event or program gets done I’m not the center of the show” or even better, these individuals leave you hanging at the last minute with a “I’m sorry but I can’t do this after all because I didn’t realize how much time it would take and I need to do other things with my time.”

Emails that Alienate versus Activate Assistance

How about the email that alienates everyone that gets it? “My event/project/business isn’t succeeding and it’s your fault because you aren’t doing what I need. I want you to start doing what I need right now so I’ll stop failing! Do what I say and do it right now!” That is an email from a desperate needy person who needs help and should be asking this way:

“Friends, clients, colleagues, and business associates,

As you may know, Company X has been holding monthly events to support __________. Due to the recent economic times, we have been experiencing a decrease in attendance. I would appreciate your assistance in promoting these events and getting the word out about these important and informative ________________. Your attendance at these events would also be appreciated. If you have any questions about the events or ideas on promoting them, please give me a call … ”

As opposed to this:

“I’m disappointed in the total lack of support the group has been giving to my events. I’ve been having these events and not one of you has been attending. Even more importantly, none of you have been supporting the events by sending out my announcements of the events to your clients and networks. How are my events supposed to succeed if you don’t do the marketing for me? I’m really disappointed in your lack of support for my efforts.

Upon further consideration of my commitment to the group I have concluded that I just don’t have time to work on this project. I realize that the event is tomorrow and that this is short notice, but I scheduled something else tomorrow morning and won’t be able to get to the full day workshop until late morning at the earliest. Given that I now have a schedule conflict and that I haven’t had time to help market the event, I would rather not participate tomorrow at all. I hope not being available to present the workshop tomorrow afternoon won’t inconvenience anyone. I would be happy to participate in the future as a workshop leader and a featured speaker. I just can’t commit the time to plan, market, or coordinate any of the actual events.”

Well, that will get all your friends, colleagues and business associates to rush right out and help you, won’t it? Don’t you just want to immediately jump in and help these people succeed? What do they all have in common to a greater or lesser degree? They are all expecting others to do the work for them and are shifting the responsibility for success and execution onto others while wanting a piece or all of the benefits for themselves.

Needy, Greedy, or Desperate? Self-Awareness and Business

A colleague in California once spoke about people not being able to make decisions wisely as their financial or personal neediness or desperation scale increased. As their desperation, need, and desire for something (money, attention, recognition) increased, the ability to objectively make decisions went down: There was an inverse relationship. In business there is an overwhelming need to remain self aware in decision-making and interactions with others. If you want others to help you, first help them and without an expectation of them helping you. If you are needy and desperate for help, ask for help; don’t demand it. If you are greedy, get over it!

There are a number of individuals, businesses, and organizations (for profit, not for profit, and government) that have failed to realize that in serving the customer they reap the rewards. In giving service, the customer becomes loyal. In helping someone else, a relationship is formed and the other person is willing to help you. In a world where all too often everything is positioned as “it’s all about me” when you make it “all about the other person” you stand out and you reap the rewards. You give with a joyful heart and a willingness to help and it is given back to you in the same way. Yes there will always be takers and users. There will always be those who call only when they want something or show up only when the work is done or to take the glory, but don’t we all really know who they are. Do you call them when you need to get things done? Do you refer to them when your friend, customer, or business associate asks you who do you trust? When the time comes and you do your own needs analysis, those who succeed are those who need to help others and who do the right things because they are the right things to do.

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