How to sell more – answer this question

how to sell more
This is NOT how to sell more

How to sell more. Everyone has an opinion on how to sell more. Increase your marketing. Recruit more sales people. Engage with social media. Bring a new product to market. Innovate.

But really the answer is simpler than that. Let me explain how to sell more.

What is it you do?

A typical question asked at networking events, conferences and the neighbour’s party. Chances are you answer goes something along the lines of “we make…”, or, “we do…”. In fact, ask anyone about themselves, and they will likely answer in the same way “I am a director of a business, in sales, finance, operations…“.

The answers are similar to each other in that they answer what we do. The problem is it is a rational or cognitive answer only, and invites the listener to pigeon hole you in some way. ‘Oh, he’s in accountancy, my brother-in-law is an accountant and is boring’. Great. Want that sort of association?

How do you do it?

Let me ask you a second question; how do you do it?

Chances are you make a product or deliver a service. You build relationships with customers. You sell to them. You make money (or not!). The problem is, unless you are doing something really unique, such as flying space rockets, everyone does very similar things. Another reason to stifle a yawn.

Trying to sell based on what you do, and how you do, completely misses the point. It bores the pants off most people.

Hi. I’m Sue and we provide employment law advice. We are ISO20001 and ISO2008 accredited with three offices, and employ 45 staff.

Yes we understand what she does, and some of how she does it. But did it grab you? There’s no emotional connection with me or you, the buyer. Would we become enthused and want to buy from her?

Start with the why

Rather than focussing on the what or how, try leading with the why…

Hi. I’m Mary, and we work with great directors such as yourself by taking away your HR headaches. From experience this means you stay focussed on growing your business. What employee issues do you currently have that are causing you a problem?

Better right? She will sell more than Sue in the first example Sue. Could it be improved? Definitely! However, there’s a key difference between the first and second statements. And it’s the why.

In the first example, it’s a job. Though Sue believes in her product, like the picture above, she tries to sell on a list of features. We smile as we say our product conforms to ISO Gobbledeegook. It runs at 1 million testorones. We have the only unintelligible-mutterings in the industry.

Compare that approach with Mary. She is passionate about taking away HR headaches to free up the MD to do what they do best. She isn’t bogged down by features – the details which allow her to do what she does better than anyone else – rather she focuses on the why. We are passionate about solving _these_ problems. It’s why we exist, why we get up in the morning, and why we won’t stop until we’ve achieve it.

Which one would you talk to? And buy from?

How to sell more starts with the why

So, bottom line, how you are selling your products or services?

  • What focus? Unless you sell primarily to purchasing managers (who have been trained to beat you down on price anyway), all you’ll gain is glazed eyes, excuses to leave the room and a “they’re boring” tag.
  • How focus? Are you offering something really innovative in the how? Fabulous. Wrap it up with the why and you’re onto a winner. Otherwise, I’m losing the will to live. Move on.
  • Why focus? People buy on an emotional level. You do, I do, your market will too. ‘Why’ is about emotion, joy, passion and purpose. It’s why car advertising engages emotionally by telling stories, rather than telling you the number of engine cylinders. Why is the reason you or I get out of bed.

Want to sell more? Work out your why. Until then, go mow the lawn.

If you liked this you may also like the importance of vision in driving engagement, or how to make difficult decisions.

Here at Welcome Insight we are passionate about helping you to sell more. We have funding available too (the news just gets better). Call us today to set up a no obligation meeting to see how you can sell more, and develop your business to the next level.

(c) Welcome Insight 2013. Author: Mark Bateman.  Contact details: 01332 42 21 21, Twitter: @welcomeinsight, Image by ViaGallery.