Sales is all about telling customers what they want and then giving them what they actually need. The key is to get inside their head of the customer and figure out what they want to hear.
I worked on the floor at Sears selling washing machines 7 years ago. When I first started I would try to up sell the higher priced washing machines by telling them about cool features like steam cycle and capacity. Almost always the customer would purchase the cheaper one.
After a few weeks of crappy pay checks, I started asking the customer: “What happened with your old washing machine?”. Their answer was pretty obvious (not to me at the time though): they were frustrated with their old washing machine and just wanted something to work. This is when I changed my pitch. I focused on reliability and backed it up by showing them consumer research reports. If they decided to go with the cheaper alternative I would counter with facts about the lifetime value of the more expensive brand and how headache free they would be. I would then repeat their answer of how frustrated they were in their current situation. This worked extremely well and my pay checks were no longer crappy.
Here are few examples to help explain of people doing it right:
What customers want: To be able to seriously remember everything. People are obsessed with saving everything and never losing anything.
What customers need: An easy tool that helps them record their entire life with images and text.
What customers want: To be creative.
What the customer actually needs: Tools to help them be creative.
What customers want: To outrank their competitors and get more sales.
What they really need: An easy to use tool that shows customers keywords to focus on and which pages they need to fix.
The 4-Hour Work Week
What customers want: Quit their job, make money, and live the dream.
What the customer actually needs: Step by step lessons on how to actually make income on your own. Timothy Ferris doesn’t load up his message with all the hard work it will actually take to get there.
What customers want: To feel and be healthy.
What the customers actually needs: A big ol’ serving of fruits!
What customers want: More customers and users for their mobile apps.
What they really need: Get ranked higher in the app store by paying for installations.
What customers want: A peaceful plane ride
What customers need: Headphones that cancel noise
In conclusion: Tell Your Customers What They Want. Then Give Them What They Need.
Sometimes you just need to change your message to get the results you crave.
Comic Source: Sticky Comics
Be extremely careful when you use this marketing strategy. If you over promise your customer they will cancel when they see no results, so don’t oversell it. After signing up provide a ton of support so they get the results that you promised.