I know we sell technology, and technology is based on facts, on data, and on physics. That is all true, more than true actually. So being technical, and many of us being engineers or operations people (not me), we tend to want to deal in facts, the black and white of reality, that’s where we live after all. Now this is a good thing. A good thing that is, until it comes to selling our products and services. Then we have to re-calibrate our thinking, and consider to whom we are selling. Think about it…who are we selling our products to? Whether the products are bare boards, assembly, box builds, laminates, solder mask or anything technical, no matter how technical our product is doesn’t really matter because in the end we are selling to people.
All business is about people, their needs, and their goals; and our job is to sell them our technical products in a way that will create a picture in their minds, of what our technical products, and services, can do to help them not only meet their needs, but achieve their goals as well.
When all is said and done, our advertising, our stories, our content, has to be aimed at what our products can do to help our customers to achieve their goals. Because, no matter how technical our market environment is, no matter how high tech our products are, in the end before a sale is made. it is a human being who will deciding, it is a real live flesh and blood person, who will choose the products, the services, and in the end the company who she feels will help her and her company be successful.
And this means that whatever message you choose to get out, has to be humanized. It has to come to life in order to be appealing to the people (key word here being people) who will make the decision to buy and use your products and services.
I’m sure we have all heard the old saying, you’re not selling drills, you’re selling holes. That’s what we are talking about.
Here are few more to ponder.
You’re not selling cars, you’re selling image, image of what owning and driving that car makes you feel like.
You’re not selling an I-Phone you’re selling the felling of being with it. And most importantly the feeling of not being an old fogie.
You’re not selling her shoes; you’re selling her Manolo Blahniks that make her feel like she’s a star on Sex And The City.
You’re not selling a man a suit, you are selling him an image of success the suit implies,
You’re not selling thermal laminates you’re selling a solution. to get missiles leaving the desert at plus 125 degrees Fahrenheit, and in less than three seconds being miles in the sky where it’s minus 55 degrees Fahrenheit without having the components pop off the boards of the guidance control system.
You’re not selling white solder mask; you’re selling solder mask that will make your customers’ LED lighting the best in the business.
Remember you are always selling a means to an end and no one really cares about the “means”, they care about the “end”, and it our job to make them realize that the only way to get to that “end” is with the right “means” which are of course our products.
One last example, I love Jeeps, have loved them since I saw Pat Brady’s Jeep Nelly Belle, on the old Roy Rogers show on Saturday mornings. In college my best friend had a Jeep, a real one, the kind with no doors, and homemade tin roof, and giant tires. We used to spend hours driving that Jeep through the hills, and woods, and potato fields of Aroostook County on Northern Maine, getting stuck in the mud and having to use a Come Along hand-cranked winch to pull us out. I loved that Jeep so much, and the very idea of a Jeep so much, that even today, many years later I drive bright red four door Jeep Wrangler. The model I have has a little round badge on the side with the words “Trail Rated” and the image of a mountain on it. I love that badge! I have bought a total of five Jeep Wranglers in my life, all because of that badge. Ironically, I have never been off road with any of those Jeeps. Never even taken off the doors (don’t want to chip the paint!} But it makes me feel twenty again every time I get in and drive it. And that, my friends is the point isn’t it? The way it makes me feel. How does your product make your customers feel?
We are all human, and we sell to humans. For your product to be successful, you are going to have to make it appealing to the ones who are in charge of buying it. Please, please, please put real stories in your advertising, and in your columns and on your web site. Stories that demonstrate to people what your product can do for them, where it can take them and how it will make them feel, and you’ll in the end touch them, which is what selling is all about isn’t it, touching people? It’s only common sense.