WTF are you Selling Exactly?

31 replies
Ok, this could be considered a "copy writing" thing, but honestly I don't know diddly about copy writing so I decided to post it here.

So, what are you selling? You probably "think" you are selling - oh, let's just say - a car.

NO! You are not selling a car.

I don't want a car really. I want to save money on gas mileage, I want a cool color in a ride, I want the guys heads to all spin around when I drive by, I want to know the kids are safe in the back ( if I have them :rolleyes: ), I want to get from point A to point B in 5 minutes.

Can you see what I'm saying here?

Do you really know what you are selling?

Don't sell the product, but focus on the results of the product.

Now, I fully expect this post to just fall by the wayside, as it is so non controversial, and well, these things just don't seem to fly even though they are IMO important marketing techniques.

#selling #wtf
  • Profile picture of the author Neil M
    I know what you are saying Jill. You are right though, these things get overlooked easily. One of my biggest problems when I was first starting was being so worried about just getting people to the site with all the SEO, PPC, Social Media nonsense that I failed to ever realize that my sites weren't set up to sell and they didn't cover the benefits at all. I've learned the hard way to really understand my market, who exactly I'm selling to and why they need/want what I'm selling. People tend to think that if you have a website about relationships and you get people to it that are searching about relationships your guaranteed to sell them stuff about relationships, that is far from the truth. You have clearly explain how if they get your ebook about relationships how it will benefit them, solve their problem or change their life or whatever. Copywriting 101 I guess, but I made the mistakes so I'm sure plenty are doing the same.
    Signature
    To find out more about what I'm up to...

    >>>>Visit Rising Ideas Labs <<<



    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3891494].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author eric w
      Jill, that's marketing the benefits of a product as opposed to it's features, which is what many marketers don't fully understand.

      The features themselves don't sell the product, it's the benefits from those features that people respond to.

      eric w
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3891518].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Linda_C
      Originally Posted by docdizzle View Post

      One of my biggest problems when I was first starting was being so worried about just getting people to the site with all the SEO, PPC, Social Media nonsense that I failed to ever realize that my sites weren't set up to sell ... People tend to think that if you have a website about relationships and you get people to it that are searching about relationships your guaranteed to sell them stuff about relationships, that is far from the truth.
      If I could post more than one thanks for this, I would. This is one of THE biggest problems online. We see it all the time in posts that say something like.

      "I am on page one for my kwd and it gets 'x' searches a month and I'm getting traffic, but no sales yet. WTF?.."

      The bottom line is that all that other stuff -- SEO, PPC, Social media, blog commenting, link building, link wheels, etc., etc -- they're all moot -- wasted effort - if the page doesn't convert. A better tactic would be to drive a bit of traffic first - check conversions. Tweak. Rinse and repeat. When conversion is good, then drive serious traffic.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3897961].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MerlynSanchez
    Reminds me of the great sales aphorism: "Sell the sizzle, not the steak!"

    We often get so caught up in describing the product and trying to tell people why they SHOULD want it, that we don't stop to analyze why they actually want it.

    That's why it's so important to get to know your target market.

    Does your prospect want to feel sexy or wealthy? And, if so, why? Do they want to impress the opposite sex? Then it's not money or sex appeal for their own sake but for what the prospect thinks these attributes will bring them.





    Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

    Ok, this could be considered a "copy writing" thing, but honestly I don't know diddly about copy writing so I decided to post it here.

    So, what are you selling? You probably "think" you are selling - oh, let's just say - a car.

    NO! You are not selling a car.

    I don't want a car really. I want to save money on gas mileage, I want a cool color in a ride, I want the guys heads to all spin around when I drive by, I want to know the kids are safe in the back ( if I have them :rolleyes: ), I want to get from point A to point B in 5 minutes.

    Can you see what I'm saying here?

    Do you really know what you are selling?

    Don't sell the product, but focus on the results of the product.

    Now, I fully expect this post to just fall by the wayside, as it is so non controversial, and well, these things just don't seem to fly even though they are IMO important marketing techniques.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3891671].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Diane S
    Yes, Jill, you are so right. Beginners will usually write copy that sounds like a catalogue description. Our jobs as internet sales agents is to match the perceived benefit with the desires of the buying public. If the future customers THINK they will get that new girlfriend by having a red car, then there is no need to talk about how great the red paint is, which shade of red it is, how long the paint will last - better to focus on how hot that new girlfriend will be...
    Signature
    KimW still needs our help DONATE DIRECTLY
    My First Kindle Book: Ten Days in the Land of Smile
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3891724].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author fmathd
    Nice!
    Yeah , may IMers just focus on making some product and not on it's quality but they don't think that peoples are not looking for your products but they are actually looking for quality products.
    Signature
    Electronics Tutorials : Free online electronics tutorials.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3891738].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author RickDayle
    Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

    Ok, this could be considered a "copy writing" thing, but honestly I don't know diddly about copy writing so I decided to post it here.

    So, what are you selling?

    [snip]

    Do you really know what you are selling?

    Don't sell the product, but focus on the results of the product.
    You've obviously hit it on the head...
    In the IM niches, we often sell hope, or dreams.

    In other niches, we sell solutions to a problem. I suppose that you could say the hopes and dreams being sold in IM niches are in essence, the solution to a perceived problem (that of not enough money).

    Unfortunately, some folks take the sale of hopes and dreams to a ridiculous level, with over hyped, blind sales copy that focuses only on creating or encouraging a perceived need without providing any substantive solution. (I don't call "make a bazillion dollars by clicking 3 times on this software" to be a substantive solution, particularly when the software doesn't produce the results promised.)
    Signature

    Got a question you'd like answered? Click here to Ask Rick Dayle.
    We have subject matter experts in Health & Fitness, Weight Loss, Cooking, Green Energy, Making Money Online Self Help and other topics. If we don't know the answer to your question, we can find out for you!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3892227].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      Very nice post Jill.

      It reminds me of the old saying to focus on the features and benefits.

      What you've said is spot on. People know what they're considering buying but it's up to you to reinforce in them, just why they need it and what they should expect when they do buy it.

      Now we need to make this thread a touch controversial so it doesn't drop of the first page and I think I've found the way to do just that.

      We're going to play a game.

      I want the guys heads to all spin around when I drive by
      I believe you can fix this Jill in almost any car by simply going out with no clothes on. I fully expect you to test this remarkable idea as it just doesn't work when men do it, as my female counterpart, I look forward to you posting your results here, with photographic evidence.
      Signature

      Wibble, bark, my old man's a mushroom etc...

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3892268].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Devid Farah
    Hi Jill, nice post.

    Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post


    Don't sell the product, but focus on the results of the product.
    Exactly.

    I simply would say: do not sell the features of your product but sell the benefits(or advantages) your customers will receive from buying your product.

    Remember that people are only interested in how they can benefit from your product, not your product features.

    Successful copywriters focus on benefits in their copy, not features.

    Find benefits or you lose.

    Devid
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3892623].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      Originally Posted by Devid Farah View Post

      Hi Jill, nice post.



      Exactly.

      I simply would say: do not sell the features of your product but sell the benefits(or advantages) your customers will receive from buying your product.

      Remember that people are only interested in how they can benefit from your product, not your product features.

      Successful copywriters focus on benefits in their copy, not features.

      Find benefits or you lose.

      Devid
      I do agree with you on principal Devid, however there will be features they don't know about and it's good for people to make the mental connection as to why a certain feature will lead to the customer having certain benefits.

      I'm not saying you sell the features but you point them out and explain why and how, it will be a benefit.

      As an example. Jill wants all the men to turn around and look at her driving past. Saying all the mens heads will turn round is great (benefit) but they'll want to know why, which in this case will be because she's naked (feature). I'm just saying you link the two together. The feature backs up the benefit.
      Signature

      Wibble, bark, my old man's a mushroom etc...

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3892669].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Devid Farah
        Originally Posted by Richard Van View Post


        I do agree with you on principal Devid, however there will be features they don't know about and it's good for people to make the mental connection as to why a certain feature will lead to the customer having certain benefits......
        Richard, i didn't say to exclude features and i agree with you that you can link features and benefits together but let me tell you a thing.

        To be successful in business you MUST persuade. Persuasive writing focus more on benefits instead of features. I didn't say to exclude features, no, what i said is that your reader doesn't care how many bells and whistles your product has. The reader wants only to know what your product is going to do for him.

        For example,take a look at the perfume industry. You think perfumeries sell stuff that makes you smell nice (the feature)?. Or you think they sell romance, how he will court her after she sprays it on (the benefit).?

        What i meant, Richard, is that people are not interested in extraneous information or superfluous details.

        Best to you,
        Devid
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3892927].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Peterdeg
        Originally Posted by Richard Van View Post

        I do agree with you on principal Devid, however there will be features they don't know about and it's good for people to make the mental connection as to why a certain feature will lead to the customer having certain benefits.

        I'm not saying you sell the features but you point them out and explain why and how, it will be a benefit.

        As an example. Jill wants all the men to turn around and look at her driving past. Saying all the mens heads will turn round is great (benefit) but they'll want to know why, which in this case will be because she's naked (feature). I'm just saying you link the two together. The feature backs up the benefit.
        Yeah, I think this is a good point. It would be difficult to sell the benefits if the customer doesn't know how they arise.

        I guess this is why so many products (shampoos, etc) have stuff that sounds made up:

        "With the active [softenoids] in our shampoo your hair will be so gorgeous that men won't be able to stop running their fingers through it"

        Brief mention of feature that no-one else provides, (not a great marketing effort at coming up with a feature name, I'll admit) then hammer in the benefits of that feature.
        Signature
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3893676].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          What you're selling (forgetting about the actual product itself) is going to be
          different not only for each product but for each person looking to buy that
          product.

          See, as human beings, we all have different wants and desires. And because
          of that, it's extremely difficult to cater to all of them for each product we sell.

          For example, let's say you're selling something simple like acne cream.

          For some people, you're selling the hope that they'll be able to go out in
          the world and not have members of the opposite sex stare at them like they
          were from outer space.

          For others, it's looking good for a job interview or because the job you have
          is a very visible one, where you are speaking to people all day, such as a
          public speaker. So again, it's image but for a different reason and motivation.

          IOW...a sales letter than focuses ONLY on "getting the girl in your chem class
          to look at you" isn't going to appeal to the public speaker and visa versa
          if you focus on the professional aspect.

          And then there are those folks who are deathly afraid that having acne is
          going to lead to a more serious skin condition like skin cancer and just want
          the damn things gone because they don't want to die some horrible death.

          Then there are folks who don't really care that much about image or health
          but the acne is annoying and maybe even hurts when they wash, so they
          just want something that's safe and fast that will get rid of the condition
          so that they can just get on with their life.

          I could keep going but I think you get the point.

          When you write a sales letter for your product, you have to take into
          consideration ALL the variables, otherwise you might miss some of your
          target market.

          In fact, with some products, you probably want to have multiple sales
          letters. Why do you think some of the biggest corporations have multiple
          advertisements with a different message in each one? It's because it's very
          difficult to please everybody with just one message.

          But essentially what Jill said is dead on the money. You are never really
          selling the product. You are selling what they product can do for you. And
          that's going to differ from person to person depending upon how "flexible"
          the product itself is.

          PCs are a GREAT example of a very flexible product because they have so
          many uses. No one sales pitch for a computer is going to appeal to
          everybody.

          Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. Hope somebody got something out
          of this reply.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3893986].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      Originally Posted by Devid Farah View Post

      I simply would say: do not sell the features of your product but sell the benefits(or advantages) your customers will receive from buying your product.

      Remember that people are only interested in how they can benefit from your product, not your product features.

      Successful copywriters focus on benefits in their copy, not features.
      David,

      I think what we're actually saying in that case is the same thing.

      Your above post made me think you totally ignored features. My apologies.

      ....but let me tell you a thing.

      To be successful in business you MUST persuade.
      Thanks Devid, I've been doing this for 7 years, I doubt I'd have made a dollar if I hadn't been able to persuade one or two people.
      Signature

      Wibble, bark, my old man's a mushroom etc...

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3893596].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author LB
    A man does not buy a drill because he needs a drill.

    He buys a drill because he needs a hole.
    Signature
    Tired of Article Marketing, Backlink Spamming and Other Crusty Old Traffic Methods?

    Click Here.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3892681].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author butcher57
    Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

    Ok, this could be considered a "copy writing" thing, but honestly I don't know diddly about copy writing so I decided to post it here.

    So, what are you selling? You probably "think" you are selling - oh, let's just say - a car.

    NO! You are not selling a car.

    I don't want a car really. I want to save money on gas mileage, I want a cool color in a ride, I want the guys heads to all spin around when I drive by, I want to know the kids are safe in the back ( if I have them :rolleyes: ), I want to get from point A to point B in 5 minutes.

    Can you see what I'm saying here?

    Do you really know what you are selling?

    Don't sell the product, but focus on the results of the product.

    Now, I fully expect this post to just fall by the wayside, as it is so non controversial, and well, these things just don't seem to fly even though they are IMO important marketing techniques.

    Nice precisation You always sell the idea of the product instead that product itself...
    Signature

    Grow your Instagram followers organically with my Artificial Intelligence service

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3892695].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ben_Doyle
    Really good thread this!

    I'm currently in the middle of writing my first ever sales page so this thread has been written just at the right time for me!

    Thanks!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3892766].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bojan_Djordjevic
    You girl got it all wrong. Main reason why we buy cars is status and prestige. Having car is like walking today, having good car is display of wealth and personal power

    Why I buy Apple products? Because they are better than PC? No, it's because they make me look good when I put them out (and battery life).

    It's marketing. Vanity, my favorite sin!
    Signature

    Social media, androids, mobile marketing, PRODUCTIVITY http://www.bojandjordjevic.com http://alphaefficiency.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3892773].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce99
    hi jill,

    get what you are saying. I am from marketing land, but sometimes i think for the homepage i would rather just deliver a clear message as to what they will get.

    but the reality is that unless you can somehow get an honest survey response, you may never know what the visitors or potential buyers really want. cant please everyone so we just take a guess at what will hit the hot buttons
    Signature

    just a dog guy.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3892870].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post


    Do you really know what you are selling?

    Don't sell the product, but focus on the results of the product.
    Excellent point!...most try to sell the 'thing' rather than what it does does for the buyer. Selling features is common, and the least effective approach.

    Selling benefits is better, and selling 'hidden benefits' is even stronger yet.

    For instance, in your car example, the benefits you mentioned are all good ones, but a deeper benefit, not usually expressed, but often held, is RESPECT.

    And to pick up on Steve's point about target market differences, for many men, a very expensive car, tells the world they've made it, are important and matter.

    I have found that the 'Feeling of Respect' is embedded in many product purchases and calling that out in copy, is very effective.

    Nobody really needs a $90,000 automobile, but to the right audience, the 'hidden benefit' makes them sell like hotcakes.
    ______
    Bruce
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3894097].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    LOL Jill - exactly what I needed about a month ago in TMN when I was having a problem reconciling my issue with my new product.

    Actually - it was more of a business direction question in the long run, but that is exactly the point someone else made to me that made me sit down and figure it all out.

    Ah well. Guess the snow had to clear first, eh?
    Signature

    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3894328].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    IMO, it depends on who you are selling to...If you're selling to the general public, then yes you sell the sizzle.

    However, if you are selling to a tech orientated person, you sell the facts, such as the steak is a 16 oz black angus porterhouse.

    And if you're selling to a CEO-type, you sell the bottom line: Buy the steak at $4 a lb and sell it for $12. There's 240 million beef eaters in the USA and 6 major producers of beef.

    I think a good example of this is audio equipment. The bose wave radio is marketed to the general public, so it sells the sizzle..."Fill up the room with beautiful sounds".

    Whereas if you go to an electonics store, a techie like myself doesn't care about all the adjectives. Instead, I want the facts:

    How many watts?
    THD?
    Range of the output, is it 20-20,000 or better?
    How many speaker jacks?

    With my own personality, I'd never buy a bose wave radio, as it doesn't have the features I want and I generally don't buy on benefits (sizzle), despite all the wonderful sales sizzle by bose.

    And if it's a CEO, he/she will want to know how much money a bose wave radio will make them...Will it make the cows produce more beef?
    Signature
    Discover the fastest and easiest ways to create your own valuable products.
    Tons of FREE Public Domain content you can use to make your own content, PLR, digital and POD products.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3894724].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      And if you're selling to a CEO-type, you sell the bottom line: Buy the steak at $4 a lb and sell it for $12. There's 240 million beef eaters in the USA and 6 major producers of beef.

      ...

      And if it's a CEO, he/she will want to know how much money a bose wave radio will make them...Will it make the cows produce more beef?
      To quote myself... LOL

      As far as selling to CEOs, if you don't believe me...Watch the Shark Tank just once...
      YouTube - The shark tank
      Signature
      Discover the fastest and easiest ways to create your own valuable products.
      Tons of FREE Public Domain content you can use to make your own content, PLR, digital and POD products.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3894851].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Gail Sober
    Reminds me of my first car sales interview.

    After 20 minutes of selling the guy a pencil (his idea), he finally said, "great, but you never asked what I was looking for in a pencil". or something similar. It was so long ago.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3895622].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by RickDayle View Post


      In other niches, we sell solutions to a problem.
      Well, yes, they are solutions, but you sell those solutions by really presenting all those benefits. This is not just IM confined.

      IE, Stevens helpful post up above.

      Ok, I've had several PM's now asking me to drive home and put my clothes back on because my maiden fair skin is blinding them when they drive past and the sun hits me. A few people went off the road, but not for the right reason.
      Signature

      "May I have ten thousand marbles, please?"

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3896258].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Lyanna
    Nice tip. Hmm I am thinking of how to use this in my latest blog now, "sell the sizzle"? Cool.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3897423].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Zanti
      First I have to say Jill, I am shocked, shocked I tell you, at the language in your headline. And then, trying to pick-up guys in your spiffy car, without the kids in the back. What happened to that sweet, innocent Midwestern girl we all knew. It must be the evils of this internet marketing stuff that you speak of that has lured you to the dark side.

      On a more serious note. I do agree completely. Especially what Steven, Bruce and Kurt have added.

      It's what I call the "Art of Marketing," knowing what really motivates your customer. Like Steven said, you can't be all things to all people.

      Knowing what motivates your customer, will allow you to sell to a techie like Kurt. On to someone looking for respect, love, power etc.

      Many times your customer may not even care if they get the benefits of what you're selling. What they often want is the feeling, belief, fantasy, illusion... of what those benefits may bring them.

      Am I really going to have a hot naked blond trying to pick me up in her sports car, without the kids in the back, if she had them, if I use a certain shampoo. No.

      But if I can buy into the feeling, belief, fantasy and illusion that this one shampoo might help, even in a small way, well I might buy a case.

      Some customers want the facts, some the illusion, the fantasy of the benefits and most all are looking for some hidden benefit.

      Brian

      P.S. Oh, and Jill, if you see a guy with really clean, great smelling hair, on your way home, that's me. Stop and give me a ride.
      Signature
      Brian Alexzander ~ Irie To The Highest - Respect
      "Irie"...the ultimate positive, powerful, pleasing, all encompassing quality/vibration


      A Candle Never Loses Any Of Its Own Light... By Lighting Another Candle

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3897693].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

    So, what are you selling? You probably "think" you are selling - oh, let's just say - a car.

    NO! You are not selling a car.

    Jay Abraham loves to make this point with an analogy:

    Q: "What do people who buy a power drill want?"

    A: "They want a HOLE!"

    Now, if you phrase the question a bit differently, "What are you selling ALL THE TIME?"
    - you may find my recent guest blog post on Yaro Starak's "Entrepreneur's Journey"
    interesting!

    All success
    Dr.Mani
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3897787].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Nick Kringas
      I hate to always steal from FK but he is the Godfather, after all:

      Tell em what you got
      Tell em what it will do for them
      Tell em what to do next

      You can even say, "here's what I got.... here's what it will do for you.... and here's what you should do next"

      sounds simple but very powerful... because it works.

      Good Luck

      Signature
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3897838].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    Hmmmm. Good point. I shall consider this. Thank you.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3898116].message }}

Trending Topics