What Do We Sell and What People Buy???

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.” – Theodore Levitt

One of my coachee commented “You buy only those things that can get some job of yours done” This, I found, is very relevant to sales. In all value based selling this concept holds true.

Need Analysis, if done diligently, always signals to a ‘Gap’. This gap is the job that people want your product or service to fulfill. In most of the cases, a sales professional knows what he/she sells. Where he/she misses is the knowledge of what the customer wants to buy.

Eg: A shopkeeper could be selling a pen, but what a student could be buying is a good writing. A banker is selling Savings Account, the customer could be buying convenience to transact.

Therefore it is important during sales to understand two things – What is the primary need of the customer i.e what is it that the customer is looking for in this product or service. And secondly as much as possible we should try to get an eventual connection with some emotional benefit – peace of mind, convenience, free from fear of losing something, self esteem, sense of pride, social belongingness etc. These emotions are the ultimate driving forces that make a customer take that decision – to Buy or Not to Buy

If we look at most adverts – detergent powder, health drink, insurance, banking, shampoo, cosmetics – The emphasis is laid more on the emotions that could drive the viewers of this adverts to buy the product. Eg. We all know applying a deodorant keeps us fresh, keeps perspiration away, and saves us from smelling bad that can be a major roadblock to my success. And we all know how deodorants are advertised. Question is why? What is the stronger emotional driver – to be hygienic or to attract the opposite sex?

These emotional drivers are not easy to identify. A buyer may not explicitly voice out his/her emotions. Guided and the right questions help unravel this latent / implicit need. Listen actively to the words used during the conversation – look for the words like painful, inconvenience/convenience, gain/ profit, happy, disappointed etc and also note if they are associating these words with a product/ service or person/organisation. You would know the GAP between what they wish to buy and what you are actually selling.

Happy Selling

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