Is your Customer in the Market for your Widget, or for Peace of Mind?

Everybody hates sales calls. I can’t think of a single person who is happy to receive a call from someone who is obviously reciting a script. It’s annoying and the answer is always no. Until it’s not. When my phone rang yesterday and I realised it was a sales call, I kind of rolled my eyes. The plan was to get rid of the sales lady as quickly as possible so that I could focus on work, but a funny thing happened. I realised that she was selling something I need and would like to buy. That changed everything. Her delivery was still scripted, but all of a sudden I was interested in what she was saying. She was selling an extended motor plan that would cover all services and anything that could possibly go wrong with my vehicle over the next five years. I did a quick calculation and realised that the monthly payment is more than fair.

I found her sales pitch lacklustre at best. She outlined the benefits of the plan, but not what those benefits would mean to me. It was all about what her plan offers me. It’s like that with most sales pitches though, isn’t it? If you look at appliance advertising, it’s all about how many litres or kilowatts or whatever measurement is deemed important. Of course, it’s important to cite these attributes, but what about the time you’d be saving? The time you could be spending with your family? The customer is after that. I bet he or she could care less whether a washing machine takes a 5kg or an 8kg load, but it would be far more valuable to them to know that they would be able to free up some time in their day if they buy that washing machine.

The same goes for this sales lady’s pitch. She could have highlighted that major services are pricey, and that, for the low price of R260 per month, I could have the assurance that every possible eventuality will be taken care of by a registered dealership, and I won’t have to pay one cent out of pocket. That is peace of mind. It’s peace of mind mechanically, and it’s peace of mind financially. This is a very attractive proposition for a self-employed individual. In my opinion, if she focuses on the peace of mind that this would bring, she would increase her hit rate significantly.

I had an aha moment when we ended the call. She was selling a motor plan, but I was in the market for some peace of mind. It made me realise that what you’re selling is often not what your customer needs. They need the status, emotional well being, or financial relief that your solution will bring them. Focus on that, and I’m almost sure you’ll increase your sales significantly. That is what I’ll be doing. Let me know what you’re selling, I’d love to see if I can unearth the actual reason for your customers’ needs, and improve your sales in the process.

Until next time,


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