What Exactly Are You Selling?

As a lecturer in Global Marketing and Sales Management, I spend a lot of time challenging my students to answer the Big question: How would you sell ‘This’?

To keep up with changes in society and technology ‘This’ is changing rapidly, especially as the products, services and experiences that they will be selling may not yet exist. In the past year they have considered:

  • Space tourism (how do you sell a holiday for £500k when the customer has a good chance of never coming back alive?)
  • How do you sell autonomous vehicles (fine for the UK but probably not in Australia)?
  • How to sell cars to the 50% of the population of Saudi Arabia who (until this year) were not allowed to drive?

Each of these Big questions is totally different, and as with real life, there is no silver bullet answer. I guide the students through a process that helps them understand the real challenges by asking the little questions that will eventually lead them to potential Big answers.

Similarly, when I work with organisations, the Big question tends to be ‘How do we sell MORE of This?’

The challenge here is not the question itself; it is not a dumb question, it is just being asked at the wrong time. We need to ask more little questions first to understand why a potential customer would want to buy what the company is selling. As with the student Big questions, there are many possible answers. This is not a precise art, but it can be a great way of avoiding the wrong answers.

So, what are the little questions that should be asked before the big question?  Well, there are more than I can put in a readable blog, so I’ve developed a questionnaire to help.

Questions do differ from company to company, and answers will differ even more. Many of the answers will be hiding in plain sight, and just the experience of asking yourself these questions might help you in your search of the Big Question.

More recently, I have been discussing this situation with Nick Brooks and his team at 4CM who are the experts in B2B Marketing, and thought wouldn’t it be easier if we could jointly help companies by facilitating this process?

This autumn, we will be holding a sales and marketing seminar in Milton Keynes for manufacturing and industrial companies.  This will help you think differently about your customers to develop techniques that will drive sustainable revenue growth.

If you’d like to attend this FREE event, then simply drop me an email!

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