Dec 08 2010

Are You Selling What You Think You’re Selling?

If you didn’t know you,


would you buy


what you have to sell,


from you? Are you sure?


MacDonald’s sells consistency, not hamburgers. Golden Arches customers know they can get the exact same fare prepared the exact same way at any of their “I’m Lovin’ It!” locations in the world. It’s like a security blanket for your stomach (assuming your stomach can stomach what’s served up!)

Revlon’s founding family president Charlie Revson was often quoted as saying “We don’t sell cosmetics; we sell the promise of sex to single teenage girls!” Airlines don’t sell seat rentals; they sell destinations. Churches sell redemption and hope. Disney World sells brain escape. IT businesses sell “solutions,” but often just add more problems.

Self-appointed SEO and Social Media “experts”? They don’t seem to know what they’re selling. But –by now– YOU must have a pretty clear idea of what works for you, or maybe not . . . 

How about YOUR business?

  • Are you putting out “mixed messages”?

  • Do those people you seek to attract as customers get it?

  • Are you presuming or have you actually asked them?

  • Do your customers buy what you have to sell, or what you claim to be selling?

  • Are you selling real products and services or images of what the benefits are that one gets from buying your products and services?

  • Have you made your marketing effort an exclusively online production?


If you are selling benefits (and you SHOULD be, by the way), does that represent some sense of ethical compromise to you? If you’re not doing that (and instead emphasizing and selling features, for example), has it occurred to you that your competitors surely are or will be selling benefits?

Do you think you would have lasted long in the passenger airline industry selling short-term rentals of seat manufacturing components while competitors sell happy couples skipping through the Caribbean surf or exploring Mediterranean fishing villages, or visiting Hawaiian mountain waterfalls, or diving off Mexican cliffs, or singing and dancing in Austria’s Oktoberfest?

When did you last sit still long enough to really take apart your sales message and examine the pieces?


Do the words work? Do they sell? Is there one word too many or too few? What you think you’re saying and what in fact communicates may be two separate things. How does your sales message look? How does it feel? What’s the intent? What did you discover by answering these questions?

How can you tweak or adjust or revamp or update what you have to make it better? To make it sing? To make it reach out and grab? If any of this leaves you puzzled and you are earnest about improving the process of selling what you’re selling, call me. No telephone fees. No strings attached. I’ll give you ideas. If you want more than ideas and I can’t help you, I can point you in the right direction.     

# # #

302.933.0116   Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

3 responses so far

Nov 12 2008

Economizing Doesn’t Make Money! SALES Make Money! (Trenchcoat Techniques)

No one ever made dollars


by pinching pennies!  


     Business reports are flooded these days with news of companies cutting, trimming, slicing, saving, searching, eliminating, conserving, consolidating, closing, and filing.  Enough already! 

     STOP worrying and making yourself crazy!  If you own or run a business, keep this thought on your front burner:  NO ONE ever made dollars by pinching pennies!  

     Your business can only survive, grow, and make money by making sales.  Yeah, you say, well that’s not so easy when people are using Gorilla Glue on their wallet pockets and purse clasps.  (Wow! Try saying those last two words three times fast!)  But, you know what?  It IS easy if:

  • A) you CHOOSE for it to be easy (since all behavior is a choice!), and
  • B) you concentrate hard on using empathy by putting yourself in your prospect’s shoes, by listening carefully to what your prospect says is important to her or him, and by emphasizing the benefits (instead of features) that specifically and directly address the issues and concerns that you hear expressed. 

     Gently and pleasantly “sizing up” the prospect and the situation accurately is the first and often most important step in making a sale.  You need to clear away other thoughts and concentrate on being a friendly detective.  You’ll never catch a ball that’s hit to you if you’re thinking about your next vacation, or last night!

     Pretend you’ve been hired by the prospect to work together on the same side of the desk to help him or her make a buying decision that will be beneficial (and hopefully “smart”) . . . one that truly provides the benefits the prospect seeks, which you’ll know from A) and B) above . . . one that paves the way for building a long-term relationship and repeat sales.  

     Overcoming objections can be critical as well. 

     People will not always say what’s on their minds, but –aaaaah– you know “The Columbo Technique” because you’ve seen the old TV series, right?  Forever trenchcoated Detective Columbo was famous for his last-minute stepping back in through a door he was closing as he was leaving a suspect behind, where he would disarmingly lean back in and say something like, “Oh, by the way, I was just curious about something: now that the murder is practically solved, would you mind telling me the real reason you hated your boss?” 

     The prospect is getting ready to leave, and you turn to say thank you for her or his time and attention, and “By the way, now that you’ve made it clear you really don’t want this particular model we’ve been discussing, would you mind telling me the real reason for your decision?”

     Why is it important to know this missing piece?  Because when you know the real reason for the “NO” you know where to focus your energy and attention.  When someone says he or she wants a practical vehicle that can be used with both family and work needs, you then know where to channel your discussion.  Forget about price.  Forget about fuel economy.  Forget about leather interiors.   

     It’s not that these are not important features; it is that they are blocking you from concentrating on what is truly important to this particular prospect: space and convenience. 

     The person is looking for quick, easy, convertable space that passengers will find comfortable, but that changed-over, will accommodate tools or files—or whatever work needs you heard mentioned when you asked about the individual’s job in B) above. 

     The goal throughout this process is to speak 20% of the time and listen 80%.  The results will speak for themselves with sales instead of savings.  Halalpiar        

 # # #

Check out and contribute to the daily growing 7-Word Story started 64 days ago (inside a coffin).  Click on the link to the right, or go to the “BOOKS” tab at the top of this page, then to the top headline link.

No responses yet


Tag Cloud