I would suggest that nowadays, however, there is something else that is vital and rarely considered. I would, in the 21st century, like to coin a new phrase; the “ESP” or “Emotional Selling Point”.
In a world of so much choice, when you can’t possibly meet all available suppliers, buying becomes as much of an emotional decision as an intellectual one. The reason why some people truly get addicted to shopping, is it affects one’s emotions as does alcohol, caffeine and chocolate. Scientifically, it is well known that the brain’s limbic system, which governs feelings, is much more powerful than the neocortex which controls intellect.
So how does this affect what you sell and how it is communicated?
For every product or service there is an emotional element to the sale. Understanding what that is, for your customers, will bring a new sense of identity. It will bring a true sense of purpose to what you do and will give any presentations or marketing literature a clarity that will enable you to win business.
Unfortunately, for most companies their marketing material and message is anything but powerful. This is because people do not understand what they really sell. Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon cosmetics, understood the concept fully when he said, “In the factories we make perfume, but in the stores we sell hope”. Revson understood he wasn’t selling bottles of perfume but something much more powerful. Similarly, why is it that a branded T-Shirt with the Harley Davidson logo or trainers with the Nike tick, will sell for so much more than the equivalent unbranded product?
Harley Davidson understands they don’t sell motorbikes but Freedom and Rebelliousness. People will pay more for something with their logo on because it fulfils an emotional need. The Nike tick stands for Winning. It is about being the best. When someone buys a pair of trainers with the Nike logo they are buying more than a pair of trainers. They are identifying themselves as successful and fulfilling the requirement to be seen that way.
Although these are consumer examples the same is true in a business to business environment. Think about it. What is the emotional side of your business? What feelings do you want your customers to experience? Do you sell candles or romance, accountancy or reassurance, training or empowerment?
Once you understand the business you are really in, and the emotional problems you solve, you can put a package together that really works. You will be clear about what you stand for and so others will understand that too. You can ensure your message is consistent. Do your logo, literature and message work together? Do the problems and solutions you talk about make sense in light of what you really do?
By understanding what you really sell you can transform your proposition into becoming much more powerful. This, in turn, will help all your marketing and give a consistency to how you run your business. It will also help you identify who your target customers really are and the best way to reach them. In short, it will help you to increase your sales and grow your business. So forget about the product or service that you provide and ask yourself, “What is my “ESP?” What do I really sell?”
Grant Leboff is Principal of The Intelligent Sales Club working with companies on effective sales and marketing strategy and lead generation; creating a steady stream of sales opportunities for businesses. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0844 478 0044.