Why Should Anyone Buy Your Stuff?

Today is a snow day. Schools and offices are closed. Instead of a suit, I'm wearing my "I Survived the Tower of Terror" shirt. That reminded me of a story about price and value...

Your Stuff is Wonderful

Your company sells great products and services. You're so proud of them that you focus your marketing messages on them:

  • The history of your company. Perhaps it was started by your great, great grandfather. Perhaps it was started on a napkin in a restaurant.
  • Your career history. You've been helping people for a long time.
  • The features of your products. You know about the science behind them, so your buyers must want to know about it, too.

All of your marketing and sales messages are true. You're proud of this information, as you should be.

There's only one little problem: the buyer couldn't care less. You haven't given them any information that addresses their needs or solves their problems. You'll close some sales, but you'll lose many others.

A Story About Price Vs Value

We recently made a trip to Disneyland. Our needs were to spend time with our family and enjoy the rides. This would be our first visit to California Adventure. As a former Otis Elevator Company sales rep, I particularly wanted to ride the Otis elevators in the Tower of Terror. It was like a pilgrimage for me. At least I thought so at the time.

We bought the admission tickets on the Disneyland web site: over $100 per person each day for a park-hopper pass to go between Disneyland and California Adventure. We bought two 2-day tickets. No one had to "sell" us. The tickets met our needs at a price we were willing to pay. We already placed a high value on the visit. I entered my credit card number on the web page below the smiling faces of Mickey Mouse and Tinkerbell.

On Day 2, we visited the Tower of Terror. My wife tried to talk me out of it, but she was a good sport when I got into the line. I sat between my son and my son-in-law (my other son). They said I screamed like a little girl on the elevator's second, faster-than-the speed-of-gravity plunge. I've ridden on top of high-speed elevators in office buildings, but this was much more intense.

Afterwards, in the hotel gift shop, my wife purchased me a T-shirt that said, "I Survived the Tower of Terror." The shirt cost over $20. I can get a Jockey T-shirt at JC Penney for only $6.95. We gladly paid the difference because it was a souvenir, a remembrance, something I can wear on a snow day.

It's About Value, Not Stuff

We bought tickets, food and souvenirs at Disneyland because of the emotional value and entertainment we received. We'll happily do it again next year.

Let's apply the same principle to your stuff. Why should anyone buy it? Because of the value they receive when they use it. It's their money, their definition of value, and their decision to buy.

Three Steps to Selling Value

  1. Ask questions to learn what the buyer needs, what the buyer values.
  2. Describe the outcome of using your product, in terms of how it exceeds the buyers needs. Ask questions and make observations to help them realize the high personal value your product delivers. At this point, perceived value will be greater than your price.
  3. Ask them to commit.


Why should anyone buy your stuff? Because you offer greater value by addressing their needs, not your product's features.

Now get out there and sell more of your stuff at higher margins.

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