he objective, in the ‘selling’ approach and ‘making my prospect buy’ approach is the same, but there is an enormous gap in the messaging. In ‘Selling’ we have ‘We’ (our company, our product, our service, our culture) as the centrepiece while in ‘making my prospect buy’ approach the centrepiece is the Buyer.
At this point, we have lot of us nodding our heads in a ‘yes we know’ but typically the connect and the pride that we have with all that is ours (our company, our product, our service, our culture) makes it very difficult to even try to understand what our prospect actually wants.
Companies have become large, just by focusing on ‘how to make my prospects buy’ while those which focused on their greatest product have just perished – we know of the successful companies and for each of them there are a dozen or more companies which got their product right and they felt nothing could be better, not even a prospect which thought a bit otherwise.
One of the key aspects in ‘making prospects buy’ approach, is creating the perception of the product that it is good and is what it promises to be. Perception is a purely one sided word. We can show, tell, write everything about the product but ‘perceiving’ it the way a customer wants, is purely his/her prerogative.
This is where, it becomes an art. ‘Perception’ equates very closely with value. Not the value of the product but the value of the benefit the buyer derives from acquiring the product. Value also equates with the Price of the product, including the effort and the resources that the buyer is going to invest for the value, the buyer ‘Perceives’. Therefore, the key to creating the ‘Perception’ is to understand the customer, its business, need, preferences, dislikes and whatever is possible. In a larger context, a clear understanding of the market from the perspective of the buyers, themselves is essential to create the ‘Perception’. In essence, depending on how it is positioned, Perception becomes the real value.
The second most important parameter after ‘Perception’ is the ‘Likeability’ of the product. Likeability is again a very subjective word, nonetheless, when our buyers do not like the color on the bottle, or are intimidated by the sales guy and we lose serious brownie points. Therefore again, it is important that the product is presented and packaged in a way, it aligns with the ‘Perception’ created. Likeability in a way is a value enhancer
The last and a critical parameter is ‘Association’ of the product. All buyers have subconscious favourites and the favourites could be ideologies, people, fantasies, places, events and there are those standard memory joggers – like a life occasion, a childhood memory, a song. For e.g. associating with happy occasions could be better to get a mindshare for a chocolate brand than listing out the nuts and the flavors; likewise associating with ‘time with family’ could influence a buyer to make a decision on choosing a home internet connection. ‘Association’, in fact is a very powerful sales agent.
Having talked of Perception, Likeability and Association, it might sound little ‘Consumerish’ but almost everything stated above works even in a B2B scenario, after all it is always a human being that buys, not the business.