The Mental Side of Product Sales
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There is a psychological or mental side to the selling process, regardless of whether it takes place at the back of your seminar room or in a client’s office or over the Web. Here are some basic things to remember about this aspect of selling.
You Must LOVE Your Products
Unless you love your products, it will be very difficult to sell them. Why? Because you’ll be thinking that you’re scamming people when you get into your pitch.
In order to feel confident in your products you have to be happy with both their content and the packaging. If you aren’t happy with either of these, it will be tough to pitch them. Give it your all when you create them and package them attractively and you’ll be fine.
Unless you think your stuff is great, you’re dead. You’ve got to have absolute confidence in what you’re selling and in the positive impact it can have on your customers. If you don’t feel that way, go back and redo your products.
If you have that confidence you can even “rail” on people to buy. Why? Because you know it’s good for them.
Be Confrontational of the Status Quo
To be successful selling your products, you must attack conventional wisdom. If you don’t, you’ll be perceived the same as everyone else in your field. If you’re not different from the others, what’s the compelling reason to buy anything from you?
Attack all the sacred cows you can. Go out on a limb if you truly believe something. State your case forcefully. Some people may be turned off by this approach, but those who aren’t will be much more inclined to buy.
I love competition and I sometimes go head-to-head against them by name in my selling process. That gets peoples’ attention. If you have the best product in your category, say so. If someone asks you specifically how you’re better than so-and-so’s seminar, tell them.
Make Them Like and Respect You
In order for people to buy from you two things must be true. They must like you and they must respect you.
Pick up a copy of Robert Cialdini’s book Influence to understand the “power of liking.” This book is also a great reference tool for understanding some other key elements of product sales. I highly recommend that you buy it and read it more than once. (One speaker at a recent bootcamp of mine told the audience to buy it and read it seven times.)
To make this happen you can’t talk down to people but you must command their respect. The only way I’ve found to do this is to do your homework and present yourself articulately.
Understand their Lifetime Value
Lifetime value refers to the amount of money a customer will likely spend with you over the lifetime of their relationship with you. This is one reason it pays to treat people well – all the time. They have the potential to put a lot of money into your pocket.
How do you know the lifetime value of a customer? Here’s a little exercise I recommend you do soon and repeat every few months. Add up the total number of seminar attendees you’ve had at a given event (or at the aggregate of all your events) over a year. Add up every dollar all those attendees have spent with you: seminar registration fees, other product, consulting fees, the whole nine yards. Now divide the total dollars by the total number of attendees.
If, for example, you find you’ve had 1,000 people attend your seminar during the past year and they’ve spent an aggregate total of $100,000, then the lifetime value of a customer for that seminar is $100. Knowing this figure can help you make intelligent decisions about customer acquisition strategies and costs, among other things.