When it comes to selling, it is important to make a connection with the prospect. One of the best ways to understand the buyer is to uncover his wants and needs.

One of the most frequently referenced models is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. A staple in the field of psychology, Maslow’s hierarchy is easily applied to selling and understanding consumer behavior as well.

Starting with the most basic needs on the bottom of the pyramid, Maslow says that each level of the pyramid is dependent on the previous level. It is important to cater to the prospect’s different levels of needs when interacting with them.

• Biological/physiological needs- These are the needs for basic necessities: food, water, oxygen, etc. These are the needs that are vital to survival.
• Security/safety needs- These are the needs that come to the surface in a time of crisis or disorganization in the social structure.
• Social needs- These are the needs that involve emotions such as love, affection, and belonging. Amiables, in particular, have stronger social needs that are often manifested by a need for a consensus.
• Ego/Self-esteem needs- These are the needs that people have for stability, high level of self-respect as well as respect from others. When it comes to key decision-makers in an organization, it is important to cater to their ego and show respect for their authority and position.
• Self-actualization- This is an ongoing process of doing good that leads to a feeling of fulfillment. This is the pinnacle of the needs’ hierarchy.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can be used parallel to a hierarchy of information that applies to business. This hierarchy of information provides the business world with the information of what people at each level of the needs hierarchy are seeking.

To find out more information about how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the hierarchy of information, and how they translate into selling, check out Selling ASAP— a book for sales professionals by the experts.