You selling the drill or the hole?

Say you come across a network marketer at her booth in a trade show. You see some bottles
on the table, and ask, “What is that?”

Which response would intrigue you more:

1.  “It’s a breakthrough organic supplement from this really wonderful company. It has Camu Camu in it, and blah blah blah blah.”  OR

2. “It’s for women who are cranky 10 days a month like I used to be, and they don’t want to be like that anymore.  Without drugs, of course. That’s what happened to me.  You know anyone who might like to know about a product like that?

If you’d be more drawn in by the second response, there’s a reason.  The great Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt used to tell his students, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

When your ‘sales approach’ focuses on describing the product or service, you are describing the drill.  Or the hammer.  The tool in other words. That usually gets a ho-hum because there are so many tools one can choose from.

Every tool on the shelf is screaming ‘this one is the best!”

What you ( and anyone else) want is the best one for you to accomplish your mission – make the hole in the wall to hang one end of the hammock. If you’re small, you might want a light drill.  With a small handle.

When you describe your product or service by only describing the result you got
– your before and after story with NO BIG WORDS – you are describing the hole…the successful result you got.  THAT is what people are really buying: Results like
yours for themselves.

See the difference in focus?  Story-telling about the perfect hole you put in your wall versus selling the features of your drill. If the hole is really cool, your friends WILL ask, “Wow, cool hole! How did you do that?”

Then you can pull out the drill.

Bottom line, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want
a quarter-inch hole!”

The orange book shows you how to tell your story.  It’s here.

PS If you can’t afford the orange book right now, go to my Facebook page here and click ‘like’ and you’ll get it on the house.

About the author

Kim Klaver


    • John, thanks! If you come up with an answer to your own question, let me know. Who doesn’t want more exposure?

  • Hi Kim ~ I received an email from friend and colleague Stella Walker talking about your book “If my products are so great why am I not selling them”. She sent me an email that said at the end of the post I could get the book free. I am not able to see on your site just where I can get your book. Can you please help me. She says it is just what we need.

    Thank You.

  • What on earth are you talking about? No-one wants to buy a hole. If you’re a salesman I can see why you would try to sell one – sort of like selling ice to an Eskimo. No-one wants a hole. Unless this is a joke; in which case you got me.

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