Ok, Don't "Sell" Anything

People who try to "sell" you their product represent one that was created without any sensitivity to their clients' wants and needs. And now, one way or another, they're going to convince you to buy it. How do salespeople ever expect to sell you something you didn't have a prior need for? The problem is, you don't want what they have to offer, but you want to tell them to shut their inimical traps even less.

The Salesman accost you with ditherings about this feature and that feature (don't they). They always seem to have a ready response to your objections (they do). But something just isn't right (You know it). No matter how much they try to appeal to your sensibilities, you still don't feel right about it.. So into their traps you are slowly and inexorably drawn until there's no escape. And you buy.

And you regret it the very next day.

Marketers are a different breed. They identify a need, and they rush to fill it. What the consumer wants is the center of their interest, always. They still want your money, but recognize that they must render something the consumer wants in return. They're into fairplay. Marketers are not there to convince you that you need it, but to remind you that you do. Respectfully and ethically. The dual nature of markets, supply and demand, have a responsibility to one another; Marketers acknowledge and embrace this.

Are you still "Selling" your wares? After you determine if there is still a future for your product beyond your warehouse exteriors, you need to reevaluate your proposition.

Your job when marketing your site is not to convince the prospect to buy your product. Your job as a marketer is to crystalize in your prospect's mind what they already knew they wanted. And then, to DEMONSTRATE to them, that your product does all those things they wanted. You must prove that your solution is applicable to their needs.

While one is the pursuer, the other is the pursuant. Salespeople will hunt you to the far corners of the earth for your business, and at the same time hordes of people will gleefully gather around the savvy marketer and his "compelling offer." The only thing compelling about his offer is that he answered to you call. No mystical charm. No mind control. There is a recurring problem somewhere in your past that the marketer now holds the solution for.

Now before you go galavanting off to dominate your respective industries, you need to be aware of one major obstacle amateur marketers run into when developing their proposition and crystalizing their intentions to the customer.

It's the misconception that  product features equate to value in formulating the proposition. Features are merely substantive to your offer. They are logical support. But Value you must seek in the customer's world. You must look for it in their dreams, in their aspirations, in their outlook and intentions. And most importantly, you must seek it in those places they are presently unsatisfied.

Would you care if I told you that the quality of your coffee depends on the fineness of its grind, the water's purity, and the period of absorbtion?

I would assume not unless you fancy yourself some sort of coffee aficionado... or you were involved in coffee production, or you know someone who might be impressed by such trivia.

At best, putting a comprehensive list of outstanding features on display will help you contrast favorably against the dilapidated grey of the design standards prevalent in your industry.

Unfortunately, your customers don't share a developer's appreciation for your products features.

All the care you've taken to reengineer your product might as well go unnoticed by the consumer if it does not pose some immediate application of value to their lives. If you are the product developer, you have understandable emotional attachments to the features you put so much thought and work into. The reality remains though, that even technical advancements that you think are revolutionary get clumped in with the "miscellany" until it can make the consumers life an easier, better place to live. What are we substantiating through our presentation of features? VALUE. So treat  features as such.

Now what are the concrete benefits inherent in a well proposed transaction?

One need only look to the Big Book itself for those. Benefits are nourishment to the seven sins. Laziness seems to be the most popular to feed. I'm not here to debate the sins with you, I'm just telling you like it is. Those Seven Sins are immutable in us anyways, so lets not get our panties in a twist.

Back to the point of my essay. It has to be YOU who translates your product's features into immediate, concrete applications of value for the consumer, because the consumer won't be able to do it themselves. While you may feel like you stand apart from your competition, in the eyes of the consumer, you might still be part of the multiplicity of crowds clamoring for their attention daily. And then you'll be just another marketing wannabe.

If you take nothing else away from this, remember one thing, you are a marketer, not a salesperson. You pay attention to markets. Market needs, market changes, market deficiencies.

When you can finally distinguish between being a salesperson and being a marketer, get over your features, and begin thinking in terms of  value, a lot of doors that were previously closed to you will suddenly be open.