How come I can’t say my product is for everybody when I think it is?

That’s a question networkers ask me a lot. And it seems so reasonable, especially when they really love their product. Three answers for you if you are wondering about this:

1. Has everyone bought your product?

If not, then everyone has spoken, haven’t they? Sigh. And no, it’s not necessarily that your presentation is bad. Even with the ideal show ‘n tell, there might not be a match. Not everyone plays tennis, so everyone will not buy the latest greatest tennis racquet. Some people prefer golf, so they spend their shekels on THAT.

Helpful belief 1: Recognize you are seeking just people who already share your worldview on the thing to begin with. A teensie weensie sliver of the big market out there. E.g., some people insist on organic, others buy regular, even when given a choice. There’s room for both. Depends on your values, yes?

2. When you, the sales person, is talking about your product’s wonders, your words are immediately suspect. Seth Godin writes this about that:

“There’s a huge cohort of consumers that shares the worldview that marketers are lying scum. If you, the marketer, say it, the consumer won’t believe it. If you brag about having the best service in town, these people won’t believe you. If you claim that you have the best prices or the highest scores in one survey or another, they’ll ignore you.

Subtlety matters…It’s easy to tout your features, focus on the benefits, give proof that you are, in fact, the best solution to a problem…Of course you believe the proof, but your audience doesn’t. The very fact that you presented the proof makes it suspect…If a consumer figures something out or discovers it on her own, she’s a thousand times more likely to believe it than if it’s just something you claim.(emphasis added, KK)

This is where the art of marketing occurs. For most products and sevices, skywriting, billboards and telemarketing are precisely the wrong ways to spread a message. Not because they won’t be noticed – they probalby will. But because they won’t be believed.”(emphasis added, KK)

Notice Godin refers to “the art of marketing.” It is NOT EASY. Experimentation is required. No one really has it down quite yet, including the big guys. Why not experiment with different approaches?

Please don’t hold your breath. Give yourself time so you don’t clutch up. Keep your day job longer to reduce stress. It’s OK. Stress doesn’t sell.

Belief 2. Give yourself time to learn to market and how to talk to people about your product so you 1) ask for the right ones, and 2) don’t turn them off with your words, by mistake.

3. Before you launch into how great you think your product is, TELL the other person upfront that you are marketing it. This is NOT like recommending a restaurant or movie.

You have a financial stake in the outcome of your product gushing, but not when you’re talking up a restaurant or movie. And the moment of truth is always anxiety producing for people…when the prospective customer finally asks, “So, where do I get this wonderful product?” Uh, well, I have some in my purse, or hmm, here’s a catalogue, and DON’T FORGET TO PUT THIS CODE in when you order…Argh.

And you can read her mind then, yes? “Ahh, so that’s what this is all about…”

Belief 3. Tell up front that you are selling/marketing the product you’re about to say nice things about. If you don’t, “when they finally find out everything you said about its wonders will come into question. Even if everything you said were true, the truth is suddenly suspect.” How? By telling an authentic story about how it’s helped someone – YOU. That’s all you know for sure, isn’t it?

Hope these beliefs help you like they have me. Try them. See how they make you feel.

About the author

Kim Klaver

1 Comment

  • Thank you Kim.
    Your words are really pressure-releasing.
    If you do the business based on common values it is just fun!

    Hans Meirhofer, Austria

Leave a Comment