What are you selling?

I was speaking to one of my clients the other day and I asked her what she was selling? She pointed out the skin and make up products she had around her store and looked at me puzzled as if it was not obvious to everyone what she was selling. So I rephrased the question; what do customers come to you to buy? She once again pointed to her products and then slowly put down her hand when she realized there was a method to my ‘madness’.

As business owners, what you are ‘selling’, and what people are’buying’ might be two different things. Your products and services are not what people are buying. What they are really buying is what they can derive or benefit from it.

As a business coach and consultant, I sell trainings programs, coaching, courses and materials but that is not what people buy from me. What people are really buying is knowledge to grow their revenues (wealth) and solutions to business problems (happiness). Same with my client in the example, what people are buying from her is beauty (love), happiness and self-confidence (status).

To sell more either for your company or as a sales professional, you need to clearly define what people want to buy. So what do people really want to buy?

  1. Happiness: products or services that make people happy are in high demand especially in a negative world like ours. That’s why comedy shows are parked full. Other people derive their happiness from accessories, toys and even food.
  1. Health: most people want to live long and in good health, that’s why healthy eating and exercising product and services are the latest fad. Health stores, pharmacies, hospitals are also most likely always going to have business because people want to stay healthy.
  1. Wealth: people want to make more money and are constantly seeking opportunities that would help them make more. From an investment opportunity, to a training program that would provide them knowledge and skills, to a better job or business opportunity. If your product or service helps people make more money or shows them how to make more money, you would appeal to a lot of people
  1. Love: intrinsically everyone wants to be loved. Even the seemingly hard hearted man or woman who says they don’t care about love, really wants love, they just don’t want to get hurt. People go out of their way to dress attractively, look appealing to make themselves appealing to love. Dating websites, apps, services and shows are agog with people looking for love. Religious organizations are packed with people seeking love from a higher being. So products and services that ‘offer’ love are quite attractive.
  1. Status: people want to be identified for or by something. That is why we acquire certain material possessions. When you buy a Bentley or an original Birkin bag, you announce a certain wealth status to the world. People strive to make statements with their toys, accessories or other types of material acquisitions. That’s why Human hair has become a very lucrative business attracting female folk who want to portray a sophisticated image. If you sell the original or ‘fake’ of a product or service that gives people the status symbol they are trying to portray, you are in business!

In positioning your products and developing your marketing message, you must be conscious of what people are really buying, so you can sell that to them. To provide more perspective, you can download our free audio recording about 10 P’s every serious business owner should focus on.

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