Don't sell the product or service, sell the idea

The most successful business owners have discovered that you do not sell a product or service: You sell the idea. Today’s post explains why they do it and why YOU should consider doing the same!

sell ideas, features and benefits

Steve Jobs famously said that the iPhone was not a product, it was a lifestyle. Apple marketing went on to sell the idea of owning an iPhone and living the iPhone lifestyle. It was a product that became more than a phone: It became a statement, about those who owned it.

Sell ideas and capture imagination

Over and over, we see that the most successful people in business focus on selling the idea, rather than the product or service.

For example:

  • The most successful web designers do not sell websites. They sell the idea of how a super-effective website will massively increase revenues and profits.
  • The most successful restaurants do not sell food. They sell the idea of enjoying a wonderful, memorable, culinary experience.
  • The most successful lawyers do not sell legal services. They sell the idea of peace of mind, knowing your legal affairs are being expertly handled.
  • The most successful artists do not sell products. They sell the idea of your spirits being lifted, by buying into their art.
  • The most successful alcohol brands do not sell you booze. They sell the idea of the lifestyle they have attached to their booze.

Switching from selling products / services, to selling ideas

What is the idea behind the products or services you provide? If you save people money, save people time, make people more productive or make them more beautiful etc – that’s what you need to market to them.

For example, if you sell accountancy services, don’t just list the services you provide and tell them how much you care, then quote a fee. No! Instead, sell the idea of how it feels to know your financial situation is being looked after by experts, who will ensure you never waste a penny. Sell them peace of mind, not features.

Benefits over features

Those who have studied marketing, will know the value of marketing benefits, rather than features. The concept behind selling ideas is closely linked to selling on benefits. Think of the core benefits behind what you offer and sell that idea.

So, instead of a plumber selling her ’60 minute call-out service’, she would say; ‘By responding to your burst pipe fast, I will quickly stop the water damage and limit disruption – so your home will be back to normal in no time!’

In short: Spend some time thinking about the benefits of what you provide. Then, consider marketing the idea behind those benefits – rather than marketing the core product or service itself.

What are your experiences of selling benefits rather than features? Do you already use the ‘sell them ideas’ model? If you have something to say, please share your thoughts with a comment.

The post Marketing Tip: Sell them ideas appeared first on Jim's Marketing Blog.

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