The Guide Selling System™

Chatting with ChatGPT about Wants and Needs

chatgpt wants vs. needs Jan 19, 2023

One of the critical steps in selling is understanding the buyer, their problem, and the motivation for change. Or if there is any motivation for change. We often talk about wants versus needs or pain versus pleasure. What drives behavior? Which one is the best to help the client make a decision?

 

It would be interesting to see if our new friend ChatGPT could offer assistance. What follows is my chat with ChatGPT:

Me - What comes first, want or need?

ChatGPT - Needs typically come before wants. Needs are basic requirements for survival, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Wants, on the other hand, are desires for things that are not essential for survival but are considered desirable or enjoyable. It's important to take care of one's needs before fulfilling wants.

Me - What is a stronger driver of human behavior wants or needs? 

ChatGPT - Both wants and needs can drive human behavior, but needs are considered a stronger driver of human behavior. Needs are essential for survival, such as food, shelter, and clothing, and they must be met in order for a person to be physically and mentally healthy. Wants are desires for things that are not essential for survival, but they can be a strong motivator for some people. For example, a person might work hard to earn money in order to buy the things they want. However, when needs are unfulfilled, the drive for fulfilling them will be stronger.

Me - In behavioral economics, what is considered a stronger driver wants or needs?

ChatGPT: In behavioral economics, needs are often considered a stronger driver of behavior than wants. Behavioral economists have shown that people tend to make decisions based on their basic needs, such as the need for food, shelter, and safety, before considering their wants or desires. This is because the basic needs are essential for survival, and fulfilling them is a priority for individuals. However, wants can also drive behavior and influence decision making, especially when people have their basic needs met. Behavioral economists have also found that people's wants and needs can interact in complex ways, and that the relative strength of these drivers can vary depending on the context or situation.

Me - Assuming basic needs are satisfied, what is the stronger driver wants or needs?

ChatGPT - Assuming basic needs are satisfied, wants may become a stronger driver of behavior than needs. When a person's basic needs for food, shelter, and safety are met, they may focus more on fulfilling their desires or wants. These can include things like pursuing a career, traveling, buying luxury items, etc. That being said, it can vary from individual to individual, as some people may still prioritize fulfilling certain needs even if they have their basic needs met while others might prioritize their wants.

Additionally, in some cases, people might perceive certain wants as needs, a phenomenon known as "false needs" and therefore prioritize them accordingly.

It's also worth noting that the relative strength of these drivers can also depend on the context and the situation, as well as on people's values, beliefs, and goals.

Me - Problem resolution and want or need?

ChatGPT - Problem resolution is often driven by the need to address a specific issue or challenge. When a person or organization faces a problem, they will typically work to find a solution in order to address the issue and return to a state of normalcy. The need to resolve the problem may be driven by a variety of factors, such as the impact it has on their well-being, productivity, or reputation.

However, wants can also play a role in problem resolution. For example, a person or organization may have a desire to find a specific solution to a problem that aligns with their goals or values, even if it is not the most practical or efficient option. Additionally, the wants of different stakeholders can influence the problem resolution process, as they may have different ideas about what constitutes an acceptable solution.

In short, problem resolution is often driven by a need to address an issue, but wants can also play a role in shaping the problem resolution process and the outcome.

Me - What is a stronger motivator pain or pleasure?

ChatGPT - Pain and pleasure are both strong motivators for human behavior, but in different ways. Pain is a negative motivator, it prompts people to take action in order to avoid or escape from unpleasant experiences or situations. Pain can be physical or emotional, and it can range from minor discomfort to severe suffering. People will often go to great lengths to avoid pain, as it is a basic survival instinct.

Pleasure, on the other hand, is a positive motivator, it prompts people to take action in order to achieve or experience something enjoyable. Pleasure can be physical or emotional, and it can range from mild satisfaction to intense euphoria. People will often go to great lengths to achieve pleasure, as it is a basic survival instinct.

It's worth noting that the relative strength of these motivators can vary depending on the context and the individual, as well as on the specific pain or pleasure being experienced. Some people may be more sensitive to pain and will be motivated more by avoiding it, while others may be more sensitive to pleasure and will be motivated more by achieving it.

In summary, both pain and pleasure can be strong motivators, but the relative strength of these motivators depends on the context and the individual.

Me - Is a negative motivator more effective than a positive motivator?

ChatGPT - Research on motivation suggests that both positive and negative motivators can be effective in different situations and for different people.

Negative motivators, such as the threat of punishment or the avoidance of pain, can be effective in motivating people to take action to avoid an unpleasant outcome. For example, a person may be motivated to quit smoking to avoid the negative health consequences of smoking.

On the other hand, positive motivators, such as rewards or the pursuit of pleasure, can be effective in motivating people to take action to achieve a desired outcome. For example, a person may be motivated to exercise regularly to achieve the positive health benefits of exercise.

It's worth noting that negative motivators can sometimes lead to a short-term change in behavior, but positive motivators are more likely to lead to long-term change and sustained behavior. Negative motivators can also lead to resentment and demotivation over time, and positive motivators can lead to a more self-determined, autonomous and self-motivated behavior.

In summary, the effectiveness of a motivator depends on the individual, the situation and the specific behavior being targeted. Both positive and negative motivators can be effective, but positive motivators may have a more long-term impact.

 

This basic discussion shows one of the challenges when selling. People are different. Pain avoidance might be the most effective motivator for one person and turn off another. Human conversation is the art of selling—the soft skills to determine if you can help the other person and if they even want help. The sales process is the science, and science enables the art. When you remove the guesswork about what you do next, you can focus on the person before you and understand if they have a problem and what might motivate them to solve it.