There are lots of times that we are happy and proud of our products, and everyone else is happy for us, but we just can’t seem to sell. You get stumped on what to do. You thought people liked your product. After all, you get lots of replies on its social media accounts. What are you doing wrong?
Derek Halpern has a great Youtube channel on multiple facets of entrepreneurship and a playlist on how to sell more. Here’s a brief summary of 18 things I learned from his 11 video playlist.
1. Negotiate with people based on how they get motivated
When selling something, good entrepreneurs know to state what good things the product can do and bring to the customer. However, A lot don’t realize that there are two types of motivations. That it’ll let people and excel in life, and that it will stop people from failing. Your customer may react more to acceleration rather than safety, or vice versa. When selling to a large pool of people, like on an ecommerce website, it’s good to state both motivators.
2. Attract the right audience
I wrote about the evils of discounts some time ago. One of the stuff I mentioned was that when you sell your product as cheap, you’ll likely attract cheap people. However when you sell your product with a premium because of how great it is, you’ll attract people who are willing to shell out for the best.
3. Describe your business in benefits
I can’t tell you how many books I’ve seen this tip in, yet a lot of us seem to forget it. A lot of sites sell features, not benefits. This is wrong. Let me give an example A feature is like airbags in your car, and a benefit is safety for your family. Never sell the whats. Always sell the whys.
4. Stop caring about competitors
When you start out, maybe you’ve got a bundle of self-doubt. And that self-doubt expresses itself in you comparing your company to competitors. This only leads to anxiety as you focus on the negatives, when you should actually be focusing on the positives and multiplying those.
5. Check if you’re actually selling and not just bragging
Sometimes you’re bunched up with uncontainable energy and it shows in your sales pitch. And that’s great! But stop and think: Are you really selling to your market, or are you bragging to yourself on how good the product is? There’s a difference.
6. Make it easy and brainless
This tip doesn’t only apply to advertising. It goes for the whole sale process. People don’t like to think. For example, whenever I teach my mom on how to do something in the computer (and this can be a pain as we’re half a world apart), she has this unspoken 3-step rule. If she has to click more than 3 things in the process, she complains and quits. You have to expect that need for speed from everyone and keep things dead simple. Plus, the shorter the process, the less time to decline.
7. Eavesdrop on customers
Everyone knows that there’s lots of talk about the product that happens within the store but never gets to the ears of the employees or the owners. How many times have you silently wished for a certain shirt to be available in a different color? And a lot of times, this is the kind of conversation that matters. Eavesdrop on what customers have to say and use this information to improve your business.
8. Don’t rely on ads
Some people believe that they can create a pool of customers through running ads alone. As entrepreneurs, we have to know our complete arsenal and use it to our benefit. From things as complicated as SEO to things as seemingly archaic as word-of-mouth. In today’s world, you can’t be a one-trick pony, else you get left behind.
9. Find out if you’re boring
As humans, we tend to think of ourselves as better than we actually are. After all, nobody knows us better than us. Look into it and find out if you’re boring. You might actually be. And remember that you don’t have to be exciting to not be boring.
10. Don’t be afraid to offend
There’s truth to the saying “you can’t please anyone.” Even if you’re some high profile celebrity/avatar of goodness/philanthropist, you will still have haters. When selling a product, don’t be too safe. Otherwise, you’ll come off as weak and indecisive. That’s not the image you want for your company.
11. Tease information
When a huge movie is announced, notice how they sell it until the release date. “Leaked” information, then guerrilla marketing, after which is teasers, cinematic trailers, and finally the red carpet premiere with celebrities and interviews. This is how you sell a product, especially your flagships. If you release too much information, there’s no excitement. Know what to say, and what to say later.
12. Don’t stop until they want to punch you in the face
When somebody says no, there’s still a chance that that no can be converted to a yes. You know… Unless the customer says he wants to strangle your kids. Try to find out why they said no and counter that with information to deny that no into a yes. Yet at the same time, make sure you’re not too intrusive.
13. Offer free bonuses
When people add free bonuses to a sale, people think that the free thing is an extra, when actually it should be the focus. Giving your product for free beside an older one that has a similar and good following is easy marketing. By not giving it a price and emphasizing that it’s a limited time offer, you’re not stuck to a certain price, unlike discounted products.
14. Put your customer on a pedestal
When selling a product, there is only one thing more important than the product itself, and that’s the customer. Your product should wrap around your customer and not the other way around. Even if you had a product in mind before the market, make it seem as if it were tailored to them. So much so that you start to believe in it and live it.
15. Ask why not
When all else fails, just ask. simple as that.
16. Before and After pictures connect with customers
Have you ever seen a before-and-after ad and thought that it was cheesy? That’s true, but it doesn’t diminish their validity. Truth is they work. Biggest reason why is that they connect with customers really well due to the before pictures representing what they feel like now, and the after pictures being a visualization of what they want to achieve. Even if your product can’t be defined in pictures, perhaps the benefits gained from it are.
17. Sell the story, not the ending
Sometimes, it helps to sell not only the product, but the process of using it as well. People love stories. Juicy ones. That’s why news is the way it is and movies the way they are. When telling the process of using your product, let the readers feel the richness and vitality of why using your product is great. That way, they know that not only your product is exciting, but using it as well.
18. Destroy preconceptions
There will be some products with horrible preconceptions. Maybe the type of product ran into bad rep or your company shares its name with a terrorist organisation. Renaming and representing things carefully can not only help you through media backlash, but also get you the market you desire.
And that’s it. I’m sure there are more tips on sales to learn from Derek Halpern’s videos, but this brief run through is starting to not get brief.