I’ve had a couple of interesting conversations about selling this week, and as I’m about to launch a new online product, it really made me stop and think, yet again…about why people buy stuff.
What makes any of us hand over our hard-earned cash to buy a product or a service?
The two conversations I had were with people bemoaning the two extreme ends of the selling spectrum…those who just won’t have the ‘sales conversation’…and the hard-sellers – the bully-boys, who beat you up,make you feel bad about yourself, tell you that you’ll be somehow a lesser person if you don’t take them up on their amazing offer, and buy their stuff.
My personal view of selling has changed dramatically over the past 12 months. As a buyer, I’m no longer tempted by the bright and shiny, I don’t look for the magic pill anymore, and I won’t be bullied, or made to feel bad, both of which have led to me buying things in the past. I now buy only what’s right for me…right now.
As a seller, particularly in the early days when the going was tough, I fluctuated between the two extremes…mostly I just avoided selling…too scared to pick up the phone…too unsure of myself and what I had to offer, and when I did get out there to sell, I could be a bit badgering…telling people why they needed what I had to offer…desperate to sell, rather than trying to help.
And that was the lightbulb for me…the realisation that in the main, people will only buy for two reasons…they either want something, or they need it. Tell me I’m wrong here, but I believe that no matter the reason someone gives for buying, in the final analysis it comes down to either a want or a need.
If you accept that, then selling isn’t about ‘selling’ at all
…it’s about understanding how your product is helpful (like a headache pill) or desirable (like a Ferrari)
…it’s about understanding who the people are who need, or want your product, and knowing where they are
…it’s about packaging up your product to its best advantage – showing off all it’s benefits, highlighting why it’s so desirable, and
…it’s about letting the people you’ve identified as either wanting or needing your product, know that it exists and where they can get it
When you recognise that what you are aiming to do is to help people – to make them feel safer, happier, more organised, more in control, to make them more money…when you stop being attached to your ‘sale’…then selling isn’t selling at all.