6 Human needs that lead to Business Success

Categories: Articles
10 August 2017

I have recently been doing a Tony Robbins audio program called “Ultimate Relationship” and learned of the 6 basic human needs that all people have. Now, whether you subscribe to Mr. Robbin’s philosophies or not, there is more than a ring of truth in these six; particularly, when it comes to looking at customer behaviour and why some businesses flourish while others struggle.

No matter how you slice and dice human desires, what was interesting from a customer behaviour perspective was that if you had more than one of these needs being met at high level, then you were on your way to customer loyalty. If you had more than two being met at a high level, then you might just be on the path to that holy grail –  “Customer Advocacy”.

The first basic human need is for that of certainty. From your customer’s perspective, this means that their interaction with you is consistent with a known result each and every time. Let’s face it, this is what Michael Gerber asks us to strive for in his book “The E-Myth” – to be able to interact with our businesses in the same way and get a highly predictable outcome each and every time is the key to meeting this need.

McDonald’s have built an empire on certainty, not the best burgers or food in town,but no matter which McDonald’s you go into, you can be as close to 100% certain your burger will look and taste exactly the same as the last time. 

At first this appears wrong. How can uncertainty be a basic human need if certainty is one. But Mr Robbins describes this as variety. “Who likes Surprises?” Most people say they do until Mr Robbins points out that you like good surprises. Bad surprises are called problems. But one of our needs is that variety that comes from experiencing things a bit differently. 

At Go Global Bookkeeping, we strive to “Surprise and Delight” our clients by exceeding their expectations. I think customers are more likely to interact with a business that gives them certainty of a transaction but then gives them bonuses, unexpected delights, gifts of value. Consider how your business is meeting this customer need.

Each customer wants to be acknowledged as significant in any transaction. But how many businesses go out of their way to treat customers as anything but? I have to have a coffee at my local cafe, “The Valley Food Store” in Malvern East. One of the reasons is that the owner, Jimmy has become a friend of mine. He knows my name, my family, my hobbies, what I’m up to. I feel significant as a customer of his. Oh and he doesn’t just do it with me. Every customer who walks into his cafe is treated with the same friendliness and made to feel special.    

If you are treating your customers in a way that makes them feel they are just a number or a you really aren’t meeting this need on the sort of high level that you need for increased loyalty.

We all like to be considered part of a group, part of something bigger than us. On a simple example, loyalty cards give benefits to those who are members. As a “special customer” you can get you need for Significance and Connection met if this is done in the right way. But then apps and loyalty programs are becoming a homogenised offering which is really missing out on connection.

At Go Global Bookkeeping, we offer our clients membership to a secret and exclusive Facebook page in which we encourage them to interact with us, ask us any type of question, whilst making sure they know they are part of something much bigger. How do you meet this customer need?

If you can sell a solution to a customer that will make them bigger, better, faster or have some                 emotional growth, then you are meeting this need. Our clients may come to us for simple bookkeeping, but we show them how they can use their accounting records to make better decisions and therefore grow as a business. We teach them that bookkeeping isn’t just about keeping the tax man happy, but about facilitating their business success.    

In Mathew Dixon and Brent Adamson’s book “The Challenger Sale” they describe a new way of selling to customers by challenging their own beliefs about their business and educating them on a new paradigm. If you can give customer’s growth, you are on your way! 

At some level, all humans need to be contributing to others. You know how good you feel about buying from a business that is donating part of their profits or the sale to a worthy charity or cause. My team and I recently participated in a 500 km bike ride through Thailand to raise funds for homeless and desperate children. We encouraged our clients to contribute and we received overwhelming support and encouragement.    

Even if your customers can’t personally contribute, they feel that one of their human needs is being met by being associated with a business that gives back.

I encourage you to reflect on each of these six basic human needs and how they might be being met in your business. When I was doing this I reflected on a business that I am a customer of and am a passionate advocate of. The business is called “Heavy Haulers” and I swear the owner, Craig has set this business up to meet at high level, each of these six core needs. 

This is an exercise program that meets at the same time and same place and with the same instructors on the same day – this meets the need for certainty very well. The program is designed to give participants a huge amount of variety in the type of exercises done – meeting the need for Uncertainty. The program gives recognition for the number of meters obtained, by singling out those who have met the benchmarks, giving them discounts and public acknowledgment – you feel very significant.

There is a Facebook page, regular broadcasts and a real community spirit – meeting needs of Love and Connection. You get measured and weighed at the commencement of each four week period and at the end – ensuring you get Growth. And finally, every Good Friday, Heavy Haulers raises tens of thousands of dollars running an all day event at the Royal Children’s Hospital annual appeal day, – meeting the need for contribution.

Inspired?  Thank you Tony Robbins!