Stop Selling What People Don’t Care About

March 19th, 2013

Sell Benefits Not FeaturesI was meandering through a store recently when I came upon a display for a new electric toothbrush. The biggest, boldest words on the signage and the packaging were “New Quadpacer Mode!”

I thought to myself, “Finally! I’ve been waiting my whole life for someone to make a toothbrush with Quadpacer Mode! I love Quadpacer Mode!” And I bought a dozen of them.

No, that’s not true.

What actually happened was that I shook my head, laughed silently to myself and continued on through the store.

Because I don’t know what Quadpacer Mode is. And more importantly, I don’t care what Quadpacer Mode is.

Clearly the people at the manufacturer care about it. Some engineer thought up the idea and somebody in marketing ran with it.

But while Quadpacer Mode might be the biggest thing to happen to oral hygiene since the Tooth Fairy, its significance is lost on me. Because the message focused on what I don’t care about, rather than what I do care about.

What do I care about?
• Cleaner teeth
• Whiter teeth
• Less time brushing
• Healthier gums
• Fewer cavities
• Painless dental checkups

What do all these things have in common? They’re benefits, not features. Quadpacer Mode is a feature. See the difference?

If the biggest, boldest words were “50% whiter teeth” or “Cut your brushing time in half” I would have read further. Because I’m interested in those things. But “Quadpacer Mode” doesn’t mean anything to me so it doesn’t interest me. And if it doesn’t interest me, I’m not going to waste my time learning more about it.

Companies get all excited about their features. Businesses of all types and sizes fill their brochures, web sites and advertisements with them. But here’s the reality: Nobody cares about your features. People only care about the benefits they’ll receive as a result.

Which means if you’re planning a marketing campaign, creating a sales presentation, designing a product package, writing a headline, revising your web site or engaging in any other effort to sell your product or service, you need to stop focusing on features and instead, focus on benefits.

It’s okay to mention your features, but only in the context of explaining how you’re going to deliver the promised benefits to your customer. If you lead with your features, your audience will tune you out.

When you focus less on what people don’t care about and more on what they do, your sales will increase. And isn’t that what you care about?

Seven Reasons People Should Buy More from You

March 12th, 2013

Why People Should Buy MoreYou made the sale! Congratulations!

But are you leaving money on the table? Could the order be bigger? Very possibly. Because there are a number of good reasons why your customer should buy more from you than they had originally planned.

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this ten-minute segment, I share seven reasons why it may be in your customer’s best interest to buy more from you.

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Seven Reasons People Should Buy More from You: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

For more business insights and ideas from me and four other business strategists, listen to the entire show. Michele asks me five powerful questions about sales and business—the answers will surprise you. You’ll also hear fascinating thoughts from Stephanie Calahan (award-winning productivity expert), Daniel Cohen (founder of RedShift Writers), Dino Dogan (founder of Triberr) and Andrea Waltz (best-selling author of “Go for No”). To listen to or download the full two-hour show, click here.

Are You Losing Sales in Five Time Zones?

March 4th, 2013

Sales in Multiple Time ZonesRecently, a friend of mine in Colorado posted a complaint on Facebook about a major retailer that was doing an online promotion. The promotion ended at midnight, but when she went to the web site to take advantage of it, shortly after 10 pm Mountain Time, she discovered that the retailer meant midnight Eastern Time.

As a result, she didn’t make the purchase. And I’m sure a lot of other people across the country didn’t as well. How many? Hard to say. Could be hundreds. Could be thousands.

Because odds are, a lot of this company’s potential customers assumed that midnight referred to their local time zone. Of which there are six in the United States.

Which means if you’re doing everything on Eastern Time, you’re losing sales.

We all live in our own world. We think about things as they relate to us. We base our plans and actions on our local environment, not somebody else’s.

So if you want to tap into an opportunity for more sales, think like your customer. Speak their language. Know their hot buttons. Go where they are. Understand how and when they like to buy. Appeal to their wants, needs, fears, hopes, issues and priorities.

And as much as possible, conduct business in their local time zone.