There’s an old sales joke about a hotshot sales guy sitting down with a little old lady to sell her a new heater. He tells her all about how the heater is made in America and has the highest-quality ratings for efficiency and safety, about the BTUs, construction, warranties and other features. When he finally shuts up, she says, “I only have one question – will this heater of yours keep a little old lady warm?”
I see this mistake a LOT in marketing. Salespeople get really hung up on all the FEATURES and start selling those instead of selling the end results the prospect actually wants.
This mistake is even easier to make in marketing when you don’t have the opportunity to ask the person questions and course-correct based on their answers. Therefore, you have to know enough about a prospect population (in general) to hit on common hot buttons, needs, wants and personal agendas and tap into those drivers.
To that end, a constant question I get is: “How do I find out what my clients want so I can sell it to them?” It’s a great question, but the answer is not one many like because it involves TALKING to your clients and prospects, and many shy, introverted “geeks” out there don’t like this critical aspect of marketing research. As Claude Hopkins once said (paraphrased), a casual conversation with half a dozen housewives will teach you more about how to sell laundry detergent than the most expensive and extensive market research and studies. Read full article and comment →