In one of my recent newsletters and blog posts, I talked briefly about establishing your business identity and figuring out not only who you are as a business, but who your ideal client is, so that you can target the right market and not throw valuable marketing dollars out the window.
Today I want to ask you if you really know what it is that you’re selling?
A lot of people don’t. They might know what gizmo or service they’re offering, but they don’t know what they’re really selling.
Let’s say you’re selling horses. Horses come in all shapes and sizes, every color and are suited for many different disciplines. What are you selling? Is it Quarter Horses for Western Performance sports, Arabians for endurance riding, Warmbloods for Dressage?
While you probably know the answer to these questions, do you know what else you’re selling when you sell a horse? It’s so much more than just 1000 pounds of hoof and hair.
With this thought in mind, here are 5 things that you should ask yourself and think about so you can accurately and thoroughly define your product. Finalizing this step will help you get on to figuring out exactly who wants to buy your horses, where you can find them and how you can reach them, so don’t skip steps!
- What is it that you’re selling? This is a fairly easy question to answer. Is it a physical product or a service? If it’s a product, what are the characteristics of it, i.e. color, size, shape, weight, features, etc.? If it’s a service, define it down to the most minute detail, if you can. The more specific, the better. For example, if you’re a horse trainer (we’ll stick with that example, since I’m on a roll here), what breed do you specialize in? What discipline do you specialize in? Do you prefer to train for people who are showing? Even if your service or product will work for multiple audiences, be specific and pick a specialty so that you can more easily market it. The other folks will still find you, but the people you really want to work with will have an easier time finding you, and that’s important. (See my article on “Why You Should Stick with Clients Who Fit Your Target Niche“.)
- What problem does it solve for your potential buyer? Everything solves a problem! If you’re selling horses, as in the example above, what problem will it solve for the owner? Will they win more, have more fun, be safer?
- How is it different from what everyone else is offering? Now this one can stump some of us, but there is always something that sets our product or service apart from everyone else. Always. For example, maybe your horses have some kind of training that others typically aren’t getting. Maybe the foals you’re selling are by a stallion that is known to product winners. Maybe you’re offering complimentary bonus lessons for people that purchase your horses. Figure out what it is that sets your product apart from everyone else and make sure people know it.
- What are the features vs. the benefits of your product or service? And there is a difference between features and benefits. Buyers really only care about how it will benefit them in the end. What’s in it for them? It really IS all about them! For example, maybe buying a horse from you means that the buyer will get 4 free lessons to really learn how to get the most from that horse’s training. This is a feature. The benefit to the buyer is that they will have more fun, be safer, win more stuff, etc. Get it?
- You are not selling just a product or service. Nope. You’re selling a memory, an experience, a feeling….something that shouldn’t be easily forgotten. Even if you’re not selling horses, which all by themselves create experiences worth remembering, your product will provide someone with some feeling, memory or experience that they will remember, for better or worse.
Have you figure out what you’re selling? Would we want to buy it? Do you have questions about how this all works? Leave your comments and questions below!