You Don’t Sell Vaccum’s . . .

. . . you sell time.

If you’re a vacuum salesman, you’re not selling a vacuum. You are selling; time, comfort, cleanliness, status (see dyson), simplicity or ease of use. vacuuming

People don’t buy vacuum’s they buy what a vacuum does for them. A vacuum gives people more time, because it makes the job easier. It does the job better and it makes the job faster. People buy vacuum’s because it gives them a cleaner house faster.

As sales people, and yes you marketers too, we need to remember customers don’t want our products they want what our products do for them. Until the vacuum, or I-Pod was created we didn’t even know we wanted (or needed) one. What drives innovation is the same thing that drives sales and marketing; getting to what the customer really wants. Great Salesman are able to establish this vision better than anyone.

Understanding what our customers and clients want can be tricky. As people, we are complex. People want for different reasons. Does the guy buying the Porsche want it because it is a fast, high performance, well made, street hugging machine, or because he is a single, successful, entrepreneur and he wants everyone to know it. Each of these men will buy same car for different reasons. As sales people it is up to us to quickly and effectively understand “Why” they are going to buy the car.

I think there are 4 clear motivators for why people buy:

1) Personal – by buying your product their life will be easier, more enjoyable, simpler, or they will feel better about themselves. This is almost always an emotional decision
2) Financial – by buying your product money can be made, or saved. It is a simple math equation, does your customer believe their financial position will be improved by buying what your selling
3) Cultural or Philosophical – Buying your products helps others, colleges, day cares, nursing homes, etc are examples.
4) Strategic – (B2B, selling to businesses) Buying your product creates a competitive advantage, speed to market, increases market share and more.

If your product is selling, it’s doing one of these things. To sell more of it, find out what it’s doing and to whom.

To tell the gear head that “chicks” dig Porches will not only irritate the him, but if his wife is in ear shot, he won’t be buying a Porsche anytime soon.

Know what your selling; HINT: it’s not what’s in your bag!