Have you ever ordered something at a fancy restaurant when a fast food joint would have been much cheaper? Have you ever paid for a massage, spa treatment, or a guided tour of someplace even if you don’t need it? Have you ever taken a cab even if you can just walk a few miles to where you want to go? Have you ever donated to charity?
Have you ever seriously asked yourself why you did those things?
If you learn to ask yourself that and try to answer it for yourself and for others, then you’ve learned one of the most important sales tips in the world. If you don’t know how to use this, you will probably waste lots of money on advertising for your business and job hunting services. Keep reading as this principle can and will help you in your career and business.
How to Promote Yourself and Your Business Effectively
If you live in the city, you’ve probably seen those fancy coffee shops on almost every street corner. Now why would people pay $2 to $5 for a cup of caffeinated water when you can get normal coffee for a few cents?
Well imagine yourself doing this. Mix a cup of instant coffee, go to a dark alley to sit beside a nearby dumpster, and start sipping it there. Even if you still get your caffeine boost, it doesn’t feel as nice now, does it?
So why do people buy expensive coffee? Well, it’s not actually just the coffee they’re buying. They’re buying pride and social status, the ambiance of the cafe, and more. This was one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath:
People don’t buy the product. They buy the RESULT.
- People don’t buy cars because of their horsepower or what metal the suspension is made of. They buy it for the convenience of traveling with your own car as compared to walking for miles or taking a bus.
- People don’t buy vacuum cleaners. They buy a clean home, and the convenience of getting a clean home fast. Just imagine trying to clean your entire home with only your bare hands.
- People don’t buy bottled water or indoor plumbing. They buy good health. Just try drinking water from the sewer.
Why is that principle important? So many of us waste time and effort paying for ineffective ads and sales pitches when just learning this principle will greatly help get our message across. People will help you if they understand that you and your product will help THEM.
Ask: “Why should THEY care?”
If you’re like most people, you’re probably talking about where you graduated, what organizations you’ve joined, etc. during your job interviews. If you’re trying to sell a product, you’re probably listing the features, how it’s made, what it can do, etc.
Remember the lesson here: People don’t buy products. They buy RESULTS.
Why should that employer hire you? It’s not just because you graduated from a good school or you joined certain organizations. It’s because you’re skilled in the work they do. Tell them about how you’ve used the same software or tools they use, or SHOW them how good you are at it. It’s also because you seem more fun to work with and you look like you’ll get along with their friends and teammates as compared to that other candidate who graduated from the same school you did.
Why should they buy your product? It’s not because it has an anodized coating or because it uses an octacore processor. It’s because it won’t break even if they drop it or it can run the games they want at maximum graphics settings with no load time.
People always go for benefits
We don’t like our friends because they have a bachelor’s degree in one subject or another. We hang out with our friends because we have fun sharing jokes or talking about things we like. We avoid toxic people and abusers because they hurt us.
We don’t stay at our workplace because it “values cooperation” or the company is “innovative”. We stay at our workplace because we like the salary or we actually enjoy the work (e.g. a digital artist hired to create cool game characters).
We don’t eat at a restaurant because the chef adds 23ml of tomato sauce to a sandwich where the bread is toasted for 3 minutes. We eat at a certain restaurant or cafe because the food is great, it’s good at its price, it is nice and clean and has a good ambiance, or something else and it’s much better than eating plain white bread on your desk.
If you want someone to buy what you have or support what you’re doing, you have to show them how it benefits them, AND do it honestly of course. While some salespeople will exaggerate what their products can do in order to sell and some job candidates lie in their resume to get jobs, you HAVE to avoid that temptation. People will subconsciously sense your lie and you will lose respect when you are eventually caught.
How will this help you become more successful?
If someone needs something that you can give or create, you provide it to get paid. That’s what you do at your job after all, do things that the company needs. If YOU need something, you can pay someone else to provide it for you. That’s how much of modern life works. Someone needs a report or an account submitted, you do it and you are paid a salary. You need food or you need to pay for an airplane ticket to travel, you pay the grocer and the farmer for the food and you pay the airlines to travel using their aircraft.
People always need something and depending on how valuable it is (sweeping floors vs. life-saving heart surgery vs. inventing the cure to cancer), you get paid depending on how well you do it.
People buy results. If you try to sell a bad product or poor work, nobody will want it especially if someone else can do better. Aside from that, you have to show people who need you that you can solve their problems. A surgeon might tell a patient dying from heart disease “I know how to cut and sew veins and arteries well” when they should say something like “if you want to live long enough to see your grandchildren grow up, I can save you with my medical skills.” A candidate for a marketing job can say “I graduated with a good grade in class and I know how to use Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.” when they should have said something like “I can make ads, posters and banners that can help you sell more products.”
Provide the best service that you can give according to your skills and knowledge, and learn to promote it well to people who NEED your skills and knowledge. Some people need you to solve their problems, so do it. They will pay you and that will help you get the things YOU want and need. You can become successful if you help others become successful through your work. That is, after all, how most of our world works.
Just remember this lesson:
You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.
— Zig Ziglar