Is "Need" a negative word?
Last week my son sent an interesting article about the word “need.” The message must have sunk in, because when I wrote this week’s newsletter, I caught myself replacing it with something else.
Now I’ll offer the question for your consideration.
According to that article, the word “need” is one of judgment – and a bit of bossiness. The writer mentioned those times in childhood when our parents told us all the things we needed to do – or else!
- You need to clean your room.
- You need to clean your plate.
- You need to turn off the TV and get your homework done.
- You need to mow the lawn.
- You need to get into a good college.
- You need to get a good job.
As adults, we might be stuck with more needs - many self-imposed.
- I need to go to work on time.
- I need to finish a huge pile of paperwork.
- I need to get the house clean.
- I need to cook healthy meals.
- I need to help the kids with their homework.
- I need to volunteer more often.
So now, if a would-be coach or a person selling a training seminar tells you that you need the skills he or she is selling, does it hit you as a negative?
Do you question whether you need that or not? Do you resent being told what you need?
If someone selling the latest gadget or marketing tool tells you that you need it, do you think “Like heck I do!”
If your broker tells you that you need to blog, do you think "I'll decide that for myself, thank you."
Is there a difference between saying "You need" and saying "Why you need?"
Will a person feel less "bossed" if you lay out the reasons why?
I'm thinking about my prospecting letter set: "Why Homebuyers Need their Own Agent." Should I rephrase that to avoid annoying people?
What about a homebuyer’s needs?
- Is it a negative if you ask a buyer to tell you about his or her wants and needs?
- Is it a negative if you try to get that buyer to define which is a want and which is a true need?
I ask that because when my firstborn was a child he was constantly telling me about things he needed. My question always was “Do you need it, or do you just want it?” If your buyers’ parents asked that question, will they resent you asking it?
I don’t know the answers to these questions. I do know that when I wrote about content marketing in my newsletter I replaced “you need to try it” with “consider trying it.”
I don’t want to trigger any of those long-buried negative associations!
So - what do you think?