“I don’t know how to sell a product. I’m not comfortable in selling. I hate being aggressive, or pushy to get people to buy”
“Sales is something that never came naturally to me. While others would sell and sell, I would go home empty handed. Let me tell you, it was frustrating!”
“How do I make people genuinely interested in buying without being salesy, or pushy?”
“Well I’m not good at sales, I’m not the type of person that likes to be pushed around to buy something so I myself am not good at pushing products on other people.”
“I feel frustrated going home empty handed not knowing how to close. after all the meetings and emails… still no sale!”
Most people feel extremely uncomfortable with sales, whether that means being a salesperson, doing the act of selling, being sold something, or, in many cases, they are fundamentally uncomfortable that the activity of “sales” exists at all.
but selling doesnt have to be uncomfortable.
and it certainly doesn’t have to be icky, pushy, aggressive, or even manipulative.
the truth is, customers LOVE to spend money and buy things, but they hate being sold to.
just think about your own experience, what was the latest product or service that you really wanted to buy, and you didn’t care about how much it cost?
now ask yourself; why were you willing to buy it?
and what made you buy?
This is the same reason why Apple customers are willing to line up for hours — or even days — just to get their hands on the latest iphone,
but they cringe getting cold calls from salespeople who are trying to sell them something that they don’t need or want.
the first step in knowing how to sell a product, is to first understand the reason why customers buy.
we should be studying how & why customers buy, rather than how salesmen sell. And once you understand the psychology of why customers buy, then the selling part becomes easy to you and you will finally know how to sell a product successfully.
so in this article, we’ll be diving into…
the psychology of why customers buy,
and how to get them to buy your product & services
“Lemonade vs Lemonade Cleanse” (from @NewYorker)
What motivates people to buy?
Gary Halbert; a famous copywriter was running a direct marketing course and asked his students the following question,
“If you and I both owned a hamburger stand and we were in a contest to see who could sell the most hamburgers, what advantages would you most like to have on your side to help you win?”
The students gave a range of answers…
Some said they wanted better quality meat.
Others wanted sesame seed buns.
Some said they wanted the best location while others wanted the lowest prices.
After the students had listed their advantages, Halbert said he would happily give them all those advantages if he could have just one. And with that one advantage, he would wipe the floor with them.
What advantage did he want?
A starving crowd.
You could have the best product in the world, but if there is no demand for it, then there’s no point. your business will fail.
People buy because of two reasons;
- to seek pleasure, and/or
- to get rid of pain
the purpose of your product & service is to deliver a desired result for your customer.
your product is a solution to a problem that the customer is trying to solve.
they don’t want your product. they just want what your product can do for them.
your product is merely a tool for the customer to reach their goal — it is a vehicle for them to reach their destination.
1. people don’t buy computers, they buy ‘what they can do with a computer’ — to do their work, to surf the internet, etc.
2. people don’t buy a power drill, they buy what the power drill can do — to create a hole in the wall
3. people don’t buy weight loss pills, they buy what the pills can do — to help them lose weight so that they can look and feel sexy to attract the opposite sex.
so your job is to figure out what your customer wants, and match those wants with the benefit of your product.
How to sell a product, and persuade people to buy?
bad salespeople manipulate, great salespeople persuade.
manipulation is when a sales person tricks the customer into buying something that he, or she doesnt need. the salesperson is so focused on getting a sale that they totally ignore the customer’s needs & wants.
while persuasion on the other hand, is when the sales person identifies the customers needs, and motivates them to take action so that the customer can achieve their desired end goal. it’s when the salesperson shifts their attention away from themselves and focus on helping the customer.
there are 3 types of customers:
1. people who will immediately buy what you are selling — you don’t need to convince them to buy.
2. people who are on the fence, and need a little convincing to buy,
3. and people who will never buy
The easiest way on how to sell a product is to sell to customers who are experiencing a painful problem, and are in an urgent need of your product to get rid of that problem — Like selling oxygen to a drowning person, or selling food to a starving crowd.
you don’t need to convince them to buy, because they will immediately buy your product & services.
but what about the customers who are on the fence?
how do you convince them to buy?
the easiest way is to ask them, or use the eavesdropping technique…
“sell me this pen”
I remember reading this story from a quora user. It was his own personal experience on how his recruiter taught him to sell a pen. unfortunately I can no longer find and link back to him. so if you know which quora answer I’m referring to, please let me know. but it goes something like this:
Robert (fictional name) applied for work at a sales company. And during the interview, the recruiter handed Robert a pen and asked him to sell it back to the recruiter.
Robert took the pen and started listing down various features of the pen and tried hard to convince the recruiter to buy it.
“this pen is in blue and has a rubber grip. it makes it easy to grip”
“it is a ball point pen, so your handwriting looks nice.”
“I will give a very special price if you buy it now”
but in the end, he wasn’t able to convince nor persuade the recruiter to buy the pen.
The recruiter then took the pen back from Robert, and showed him how he would sell the pen.
Recruiter: I have a blue pen in my hand, would you like to buy it?
Robert: hmmm… I don’t know
Recruiter: why dont you know? what would convince you to buy?
Robert: I’m not interested in a blue pen. maybe a black pen?
Recruiter: okay, if I were to sell you the same pen but in black, would you then buy?
Recruiter: why did you say “maybe”? what else is on your mind?
Robert: I would like to be able to compare this pen with other types of pen so that I can choose the best pen to buy
Recruiter: okay, if I were to lay out in front of you the common types of pen and compare the benefits & features of this black pen from the other ones — and that you clearly see the benefit of this pen — would you then be interested to buy this pen?
Robert: yea, sure.
* * *
Selling is simply asking questions, and listening to what the customer wants to buy.
you don’t sell what you want to sell, but you sell what people want to buy!
and instead of trying hard to close and push people to buy, you simply ask questions to get feedback and let the customer do the work for you — let them close themselves. Your job is not to push people into buying, but to listen carefully to their wants & needs and help them get what they want to achieve.
1. Understand what motivates people buy, which is to solve an urgent need, or to attain pleasure.
When you’re trying to sell vitamin that will help the customer prevent sickness, the response is usually, “hmm yeah, I’ll look into that some other time”. because its not an urgent need. But if they suddenly fall sick, then they have no choice but to find a cure because it’s an urgent need. So focus on selling to customers who are in need of your product.
2. people don’t want your product, they want what your product can do for them
3. if your product is not selling, it could either mean that you have not yet position it to match your customer’s needs & wants, or that there is no demand for it
4. selling is about being a trusted advisor – youre not trying to make a buck, but you sincerely want to help your customer achieve their goal
5. selling is about asking questions & listening to what the customer wants – they will tell you what they want to buy if you are willing to listen. Most business owners try to push their product down the customers throats and end up with zero sales.
6. focus on the customer, not the product. Don’t sell what you want to sell, sell what people want to buy, and they will tell you what they want to buy if you ask.
what did you think about this article? was it helpful for you? comment below and let me know what you think!