The New Way to Sell a Product
“Treat others the way you would like to be treated.”
Today we are spoilt for choice. We are so spoilt for choice that many of us do not bother making choices for ourselves. Instead, we let algorithms on our computers. Or other consumers choose for us through watching their reviews.
The number of choices we have has clouded our judgement to make good ones. And because of this, we struggle when it comes to buying something new. Due to the amount of data we now have accessible to us, we now have the power to make well-informed decisions.
But, those well informed decisions take much time and effort for the consumer to go through. The consumer would have to go through reading tonnes of reviews and comparing.
So, instead of making well-informed decisions, consumers shutdown and rather not choose at all. Many will either stick with their current products or ask someone else to choose for them. Read my article on the problem of having too many choices if you have not already.
The problem with this technique of making a choice is that it is dependent on the data currently out there. This makes it hard for those with new products to break into the market unless they have a large investment.
You could have the best product in the world. But if Google can not find you or there is not enough data on your product, you probably will not be able to sell. Besides, even if there is a good amount of data. There is no guarantee that consumers would be willing to compare products with yours.
Consumers have become lazier. And although they want the best product for themselves, they want to get it with the least effort. With this in mind, sellers are now in a predicament when it comes to selling their products.
Before, it was easy to gather a bunch of good reviews for your product and sell it at a reasonable price. But as consumers choices are increasing, good reviews are not the only thing that matters. Consumers now care about how fast they will get the product. How many social influencers use the product, and how established is the brand. That it to name a few things.
But there is still hope for those trying to sell in 2021. Whether you are selling a product or pitching an idea. There is a clever 3 step strategy you can use. After reading “This is Marketing” by Seth Godin. And watching the viral Ted Talk of Simon Sinek on “How Leaders Inspire Action”. I have spotted a similar trend on how the best sellers approach selling their ideas.
So, here is a 3 step strategy inspired by them both. To help all of us become better sellers of our products, ideas and creations.
Step 1: Empathy Is Key
The first step in design thinking is empathy mapping. This is where the designer will collate information on the user he/she is designing a product for. This allows the designer to create something that deals with the concerns of the end-user.
Empathy is a powerful tool. Not only does it allow us to comfort those who may be going through a tough time. It also ensures that we act in a way that is more considerate of others. This is why the golden rule in school is:
“Treat others the way you would like to be treated.”
When empathy is put in this simple form for children to understand. We can see how it can play an effective role in designing products.
When the designer undergoes empathy mapping, they are not just thinking about a product that would work for them. They are not even concerned about a design that would solve the problem they are addressing.
Instead, they are gathering information on how the problem affects their customer. As a result, they are then able to design something that pleases the customer.
The designer in this process is treating the customer as if it were them buying the product. But, empathy does not stop there. Once the designer has completed the product, they must now sell it back to the customer. And how do they do that?
They return to the empathy map and see if they managed to capture the empathy points. Then in their pitch, they mention how they understood the end customer and have made a product for them.
Not only does this make the customer feel more connected to the product. But it also ensures that the seller cancels out all other options on the market instantly. By understanding your customer, you can design and sell a product in a way that speaks to them.
In doing so, you increase your chances of selling the product. So if you have something you are hoping to sell, make sure you understand your empathy map. Then re-evaluate your sales pitch and see if it is hitting all the points. Find a link here to learn how to empathy map correctly.
Step 2: Find Sympathy for Your Customer
Unfortunately, humans suffer from many unconscious biases. These biases often lead to unfair results and a loss of trust between two or more parties. For example, I was trying to get some information from someone at work. I sent a quick message over to him, and after waiting for some time, I figured he had read it and probably just put it in his “not urgent” list.
Thankfully, I knew someone who had worked in his team before. And because I knew a few unconscious biases, I guessed he would probably respond to him quicker. So, I asked him to ask the same question to the person I was trying to get hold of. And to no surprise of mine, it worked. The person with the info got back to him instantly.
Due to the many biases we have, we are more likely to respond to people who are more like us in one way or another. In this case, because they had worked on the same team before, he was more likely to respond to him than he was to me.
Now, most of the time, unconscious biases cause massive divides. But it can work to the seller’s advantage. Affinity Bias is an unconscious bias that tells us that we should stick closer to those who are like us.
So after showing empathy in your sales pitch, find a way to fit your own story in there. This allows you to sympathise with your customers. This story must be meaningful and one your potential customers can relate to.
Today, people do not buy things that are just useful. If that was the case, it would be easy to sell anything. People buy things with which they connect. And your story is the bridge connecting them from you to your product.
Once you have shown empathy, you are letting your customer know you care about their problems. And that you wish to be the solution to their problems. Then, by telling them that you too suffer from the same difficulties and know how they feel. You are now connecting your customers to you.
And this connection goes deeper than a sell. It allows your customers to build trust with you. Meaning you are more than likely going to be able to sell to them again. All because they connect with you. Step 1 is about making their problem your problem. Step 2 is about proving that their problem is also your problem.
After step 2, your customers no longer see you as someone trying to sell them something. They see you as someone who has the same struggles as them, offering a solution. You now become a friend rather than a salesman. That is the power of sympathy.
Step 3: Sell Your Results
Finally, there are many unique ways you can sell your product. But the most effective way is to sell your results. Once you have identified what is bothering your customers, and show them that you are bothered by it too. You have given them the reason why your product exists.
Simon Sinek discusses this approach of starting with why and then ending with what. Well, the first two steps justify the reason why your product exists. And the good thing about stating with “why” in this way is that the purpose of your product comes directly from the customers. It started with the empathy map.
Therefore, all you have to do now is sell your results. Instead of selling all the other fancy stuff in your product. Or showing you are better than your competitors by comparison. You can sell the results of your product by stating how the product addresses each problem.
Everything from step 1 has been leading your customers to pull out their wallets. The first step identified their problem. The second step showed that you understand their difficulties because you are just like them. After the second step, they want to listen to you because of their unconscious biases.
Then, the third step highlights how you have solved their problem by selling the results. At this point, many of your customers will be willing to buy. But, any more add-ons will incentivise them more, especially if they address some empathy points too.
I have seen the results of this method in my own life. I have been able to secure funding for my projects. And even convince people to get involved in my projects by using this exact method.
This short 3 step method will equip you to pitch your ideas more persuasively. It will also allow you to sell better if you are an entrepreneur seeking to put a product out there in the world.
It is human to have the desire to create and pitch your ideas to others. So, why not become good at it. If you have had enough of having your ideas rejected or just can not sell your first batch of product. Practice this method, then go sell.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.