In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope. – Charles Revson
Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon Cosmetics, was not a well liked man.
He was so offensive in fact that vendors often refused to do business with him. But in spite of his personality he still managed to build a multi-billion dollar cosmetic empire.
That’s because he knew what he was selling – and it wasn’t cosmetics.
His quote above said it all. His ads sold hope by using most of the ad’s space on images of beautiful movie stars and glamorous models. The add copy made bigly promises of instant beauty with nearly no effort. He understood that nobody really wanted cosmetics, what they wanted was the beauty. So that’s what he sold.
I remember one of my first sales managers telling me that the best salespeople sell verbs, not nouns. When it became obvious that I didn’t understand what he meant he clarified it by saying they don’t sell the steak, they sell the sizzle.
Through the years I’ve come to understand that the best salespeople don’t sell their product, they sell what their product can do for a prospect.
The challenge here is really two-fold. First you have to be selling a product that benefits someone. Then you have to find that someone it benefits and show them how it helps them.
By the way, if you are trying to sell a product without benefits then you need to find another product. If your product is the equivalent of an artificial appendix then it may work great but finding a market for it will be nearly impossible.
If you want to sell more next year then don’t sell what you’re selling, sell what people are buying. Don’t sell what your product is, sell what it does and most importantly sell “why” it does it.
Develop the mindset of helping your customer, not just making the sale. The very best sales professionals know that the more they help the more they sell. The very best sales professionals are passionate and enthusiastic about how their product or service helps a customer and they pass that enthusiasm to their prospects.
Just remember, people will seldom actually buy your product, they will buy what it does….for them.
3 thoughts on “What Are You Selling?”
Excellent advice. If you don’t know what you’re selling, think about it until you figure it out. Get input from your buyers if you need to.
Years ago, a long-time customer told me that I keep him from looking stupid. That’s why I knew what I’m selling as soon as I saw the title of this blog post. I sell credibility and peace of mind. They’re not verbs but they’ll have to do. 🙂
And you know what, credibility and piece of mind are priceless!
Steve, a good post.