(This article originally appeared on Deb Calvert’s blog)
What you sell matters. Sellers who are looking for a new job take into account whether or not they’ll be able to sell the product(s) required and apply to companies with products they feel they can proudly represent. Sellers often leave jobs when they are asked to sell products they don’t believe in.
This mindset is good for self-preservation. However, if overextended, it may lead to a misperception about what the product can and cannot do. Most products simply do not sell themselves.
When sellers stop selling and expect their products to do all the work, sales don’t happen. Then, sellers think their products are no good, and they leave to go somewhere else, to “sell” some other product, and repeat the same ineffective approach.
Products are only as good as the buyers’ perception of them. That’s why some sellers can sell a lot more than others of the very same product.
As obvious as this may seem, it happens frequently. Sellers try to let the product speak for itself. It doesn’t. Here’s an example:
After a quick visit to my local farmers market on a busy Saturday morning, I stopped at the house to unload peaches, plums, corn, tomatoes and melons. While reaching deep into the trunk of my car, I was ambushed by a door-to-door seller who leaned right in beside me.
Side note – scaring the geewillikers out of your prospect is never a good start to the sales call.
When I reacted in fear and annoyance, the seller held up his brochure to show me photos of solar panels on homes. He wasn’t talking, just showing me pictures from a few feet away while my hands were full of heavy produce.
Here’s the funny thing. I’m actually interested in and curious about solar power. I’m probably a pretty good prospect. But the seller over-relied on the product and forgot he needed to sell himself first. He diminished my interest.
Even an interested buyer like me isn’t just sitting around waiting for a seller to call or stop by. Buyers buy when sellers sell.
What I needed to be sold on first was the value of spending time with this seller. No quality or quantity of product photos (or samples or promotions) will ever change the essentiality of that first step.
Value is what makes sells. Sellers have to showcase value that is individual to the buyer. The value of time spent with the seller, the value of using the product, the value of acting now – this order isn’t optional.
Too bad it’s so often forgotten by sellers who expect the product and some discount promotion to compel immediate action.
If you find yourself saying your product is too hard to sell, you may be over-relying on the product to sell itself. If you find yourself waiting around for special promotions and discounts, you may be misunderstanding value and putting too much emphasis on generic product features (including the discount).
To turn your sale – and your overall sales – around, start selling. You have to do the work because the product can’t and won’t do it for you. Demonstrate value instead of pitching products if you want to sell those lazy products.