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It’s Okay to Want a Deal. It’s Not Okay to Need One.

It’s okay to want a deal. It’s not okay to need a deal.

If you need a deal, then you won’t qualify your prospective client. You’ll choose something less than your dream client, the prospective client for whom you can create breath-taking, earth-shattering, jaw-dropping results. If you need a deal, even a nightmare client starts to look a dream client.

You don’t sell well when you need a deal either. You ignore the sales process that guides you successfully from target to close and take shortcuts instead. To get to that deal, you have to pitch. So you skip ahead and make the ask before you’ve created enough value to have earned it.

When it comes to negotiating, forget about it. If you are lucky enough to find your way to a possible deal, your desperate need for a deal eliminates your ability to negotiate (not that you would have done enough value creating to deserve to capture any in the first place).

But the root cause for “needing” a deal is always the same: You didn’t prospect when you needed to. There is only one thing that inoculates you from needing a deal and that’s a healthy pipeline of opportunities. You sell better, you sell more effectively, and you create more value as a salesperson when you don’t “need” a deal.

When you don’t “need” a deal, you’re more confident. That confidence is what allows you to “want” a deal, to tell your dream client that you “want’ their business, and that you “want” to help them achieve the outcomes you sell. “Needing” a deal makes you desperate, and desperation is no way to win a deal.


What’s the difference between “wanting” and “needing” a deal?

Why do you “need” a deal?

Why is desperation a horrible place from which to sell?

How does the confidence of not “needing” a deal help your sales performance?

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  • Dan Waldschmidt

    Is there a way to say “YES” a billion times? Standing ovation, my friend…


    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      There is. And you just did!. Thanks!

  • Mary Legakis Engel

    Well said, Anthony. There is in fact a measurable difference in internal energy that can be picked up by muscle testing when one one “needs” a deal vs. when one “wants” a deal. The “want” energy is strong. It is congruent, and therefore generates increased creativity and enthusiasm for the work that will be done to seal the deal. The “need” energy is weak. Physiologically, the body literally weakens when in a desperate state of mind. One’s creativity and energy becomes limited in a way that is detectable, at least at sub-conscious levels, by the person with whom you are willing to negotiate. It is a facscinating example, Anthony. Thanks for bringing it up!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks for sharing the science, Mary. I believe it!


    If you go out into your garden, NEEDING food for dinner, you’re going to tear up your carefully-laid rows of soil to try and score a few bites.

    The only way to avoid NEED is to keep planting seeds…and I agree with that. But there’s one question I rarely see addressed:

    What do you do when you haven’t planted? There are no prospects in your pipeline, and you’re broke?

    I think the only real answer is to suffer through it, focus on the long term, and deal with being broke for right now.

    But, I’m not seeing anyone give that advice.

    Is it because that’s the wrong answer? Or an unpopular answer?

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      You’re not wrong, but the right answer is often unpopular.

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  • Astro Gremlin

    Been there and it’s a very tough negotiating position. You have to be willing to walk away. Dress well, keep your chin up and never let them see you sweat. Make them pay more if they take up your time trying to gouge you. Or just walk.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      No fun at all!