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WHAT ARE “NEEDS”, “WANTS” AND “LACKS”?

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Ian Brownlee, Consultor Jefe en Brownlee & Associates S.L.

 

It is common to hear many “Talking Therapy” specialist talking about how to meet the Needs and Wants of their clients. However, if we focus only on these two areas we are omitting one of the most important, and fundamental, elements of any communication: the Lacks.

We believe that any successful communicator has to understand and deal with three different sets of NEEDS, WANTS and LACKS of the client.

These three areas form part of what is known as the "Buying Process" which is subconsciously in all areas of interpersonal communication whether it be concepts or products. Any specialist who can cover ALL three of these areas is able to provide satisfaction for the client which results in extraordinary results.

Examples of Needs, Wants & Lacks:

Needs for the client:
The NEEDS part of the system refers to the basic, logical component of the intervention process. Irrespective of the type being used. This concept appears to occupy approx. 30% of the reason for contacting the therapist. It usually consists of a simple, basic, possibly generic, description of the need identified by the client:
- I need help.
- I need to stop doing XYZ.
- I need to change my life in some way.

Notice that there are no specific details included in the NEEDS as it is assumed by the client that the therapist will help them to extract more detailed information.

Wants for the Client:
The WANTS part of the system is where the required details emerge. This is the emotional element of the system and appears to have a value of at least 35% in the "Buying Process". The WANTS give much more information about what the client seeks and defines more clearly what they are willing to pay for. The more of the WANTS that can be covered, the greater the possibility that the client will achieve the desired outcome.

If we apply this to the first example above:
I NEED help.
I WANT: A recognized specialist as my therapist, fast results, at the times that I want, as frequently as I want, in a threat-free environment, with total confidentiality, no communication with friends or family about my situation, to pay a reasonable price, a therapist who cares about me as a person, etc.

Note: all of these elements are emotional and most are very difficult to define or quantify logically.
Obviously, some will be of more importance than others. However, If the therapist can cover ALL, or most of, the WANTS mentioned above, there is a very high possibility that the person will continue to use their services. If some elements are not covered, but they are of secondary importance, the treatment could still happen.

Lacks for the client:
The last element of the system is the area of LACKS. These appear to account for the remaining 35% of the reasons for "buying" the services of the therapist. This area can be composed of both logical and/or emotional. However, we have found that usually emotion is the strongest element. The LACKS usually define why the person is having problems covering their NEEDS / WANTS.

Using the examples given above, the LACKS would be as follows:
I NEED help.
I WANT: A recognized specialist as my therapist, fast results, at the times that I want, as frequently as I want, in a threat-free environment, with total confidentiality, no communication with friends or family about my situation, to pay a reasonable price, a therapist who cares about me as a person, etc.
I LACK: knowledge of the different therapies available, how long therapy can take, what is expected from me, what I can expect from the therapist, how to evaluate a therapist, time to attend many sessions, money, etc.

One key point to bear in mind is that once one NEED is covered, all the other elements change. No one person is capable of covering all our NEEDS, WANTS & LACKS at the same time. The intelligent therapist is one who covers the overlapping areas of one set of NEEDS, WANTS and LACKS today, another set the day after, and so on. Covering Needs, Wants & Lacks in this manner help to maintain client through the conscious dynamic application of progressive and evolutionary skills and techniques.

All therapists also have needs, wants, and lacks that must be covered so that they are able to continue to live and practice their profession as the desire. Therefore the ideas indicated above should be considered by the therapist on an on-going basis.

Obviously, since both therapist and client have NEEDS, WANTS and LACKS: We believe that it is only by covering the Needs, Wants & Lacks of both actors in this relationship that successful outcomes can be achieved.

Note: The data comes from various studies done by the author in various universities & organizations worldwide. The initial studies dealt with different groups of English as a Second Language learners such as Doctors, Engineers, and other specialists, etc., and was then extended into other business areas.

As can be seen from the content of this brief article, it is time for us all to start thinking about how to elegantly & effectively cover the THREE areas necessary to convince our client to proceed with the most appropriate treatment.

© Ian Brownlee, Brownlee & Associates, S.L., Madrid, Spain, October 2015.

 

 

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El presente trabajo posee una licencia Creative Commons (Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Spain): Se permite copiar o compartir el presente trabajo, para uso no comercial, siempre que se citen autor y fuente original (Hipnológica, Revista de Hipnosis Clínica y Experimental. www.hipnologica.org). Para ver un resumen explicativo de esta licencia, acceda al siguiente enlace: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/es 

Ian Brownlee (2015) What are “Needs”, “Wants” and “Lacks”? Hipnológica, 8:52-53

 


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