Why does anyone buy something? The perception of value. But let's break that down a bit further into four reasons:
The stronger my arguments across all four of these reasons, the more likely I am to find a hook into a potential buyer. My job as a salesman is to hook every buyer I can.
- It appeals to my sense of style. I buy it because the experience or the fashion speak to me. Example: an iPod. Motivator: I like / love it.
- It will help me become more efficient or more productive. Example: a computer. Motivator: I'm smarter / better with it.
- It pays for itself over time with the savings I gain. Example: a compact fluorescent light bulb. Motivator: Frugality.
- It promises to help me sidestep potential disaster. Example: insurance. Motivator: Fear.
And here's the thing: we're all salespeople. In this economy, whether you are hawking a product or service, or looking for work, or simply working to cement your position within the company, ask yourself:
How can I position what I'm selling into the strongest argument for buying that I possibly can?Look at it from the perspective of job retention. Do you appeal to the company's sense of self? Are you a fit? Do you make the company more productive? Can you prove to others that you pay for yourself over time through the savings / revenue you bring the company? Is there a strong argument to be made that keeping you happily employed is like an insurance policy that will help the company avert disaster?
If you answered "no" to any of those, how can you work to turn that around?
Me, I'm thinking these through from the perspective of my product. But I think it works when applied personally as well.