Are you selling the product or the benefits?

3 October 2012

So what are you selling to your customers in Dubai? Are you selling all the details of what your product can do? How long it took you to bring it to market? All the research and develop that went into it?

giant squid
Is your product launch going to be a damp squid ?

Well if that is all you’re selling then you are missing a fairly important trick. Very few people are interested in these as selling points. They want to know how your product is going to make their life easier. Not how many man-hours went into perfecting it before it came to the boardroom sign off.

In the 1940s, Rosser Reeves, of Ted Bates & Company came up with the term ‘unique selling point’. It translates into what is so unique about this product that makes it better than it’s rivals? What specific benefit does this product that means it is something more desirable than another product?

Reeves was a pioneer of television advertising, a man for whom the idea that you just show your product and hope people buy was wasting an opportunity. He felt that not only did a product have to be said to better than its rivals, it really had to be better. You had to find what was unique, what the real benefit of a product was and use that as the unique selling point.

So when you look at your sparkling new product which has taken hundreds of man-hours to research, develop and manufacture, you need to strip away the extraneous back story and look at why your customer needs it.

There are generally three ways of selling a product: through its value to the customers, it’s benefit to the customer and its features. Find which one of these is going to appeal most to the end user (who may well be a customer of your customer), and build your sales campaign around it.

Let’s say, for example, you’ve developed a piece of software that untangles accounting procedures, automatically updates with new legislation, and cuts the time it takes to process accounts.

Ask yourself the question, what do we lead with? What is the real benefit for your client? Time is money, so cutting time means saving money. But do they really want the headache of updating legislation removed? Is it both? Or have you missed something more essential? Is your product easy to use? At some point during the development process was there a point where the actual usability of the product was left unquestioned?

Software can have all the bells and whistles you think your customer wants, but if it is difficult to use, looks ugly, isn’t intuitive, then the end users isn’t going to like it, regardless of how much time it saves, and how easily it integrates important information.

Find the unique selling point, find the real benefit of your product, and you can really start to sell your product to customers in Dubai, and the rest of the world.

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