Selling and Presenting Your Product
Almost all customers would agree in saying that the product’s presentation has a lot to do with their reasons for buying. They like a product that is very presentable, both in its overall appearance and its packaging. Therefore, no matter how good your product is, if it is not appealing to the eye, it is not going to have market appeal. Appeal to your customer’s aesthetic preferences. A lot of companies are investing so much just to improve their product design. Most of the time, a simple change in the packaging layout would translate to millions of sales. Good enough is not enough. Always settle for the best possible product appearance and packaging.
Here are the four basic principles of how your overall product presentation should look like:
It should be attention grabbing.
It should be crafted to build customer’s interest in the product.
It should arouse the customer’s desire to own the product.
It should be enough to goad the customers to action.
When it comes to presentation, your main point of interest is what pleases the eye. While it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, all you really have to follow is to appeal to the general concept of beauty. Always stick to the conventional assumption of beauty and you would never go wrong.
How to Attract Your Customer’s Attention
Every product has a benefit. A benefit is anything your product can give to your customers. This is something you put upfront so that people will begin buying from you. To attract your customer’ attention, you have to create a good selling point for each and every benefit your product has to give. All of those should be emanating out from your product and packaging, with or without the use of actual words.
An example of a product’s benefit is portability. One selling point of this particular product feature is the use of rechargeable batteries, which enables your customers to bring the product or device wherever they go. And aside from directly stating that your product is portable, you can choose to manufacture your product in a compact design or to choose a slim packaging so that buyers will see that your item can be enjoyed whenever, wherever. If one glance at your product would show that it is lightweight, condensed, and has a rugged construction fit for outdoor use, you have succeeded in attracting your customer's attention.
If in case you are a salesperson who only markets products that comes from your manufacturers and you do not have any influence as to its manufacturing design or packaging, you have to do some physical evaluation of your product before selling them. When possible, get your product and put it side by side along its competitors. Then answer these questions:
How is your product different?
What are the benefits your products have that others don’t?
When it comes to its physical design, what is it that the product manufacturers emphasize?
What is stated in the packaging that should make the product saleable?
After answering these questions, you should have a good idea as to how you should present your product in the market. If you have to make your own leaflets to give away to customers, then you can put all the primary selling points of your product, from the most salient ones down to the minor points. This way, you are effectively presenting your product in the market.
Product manufacturers usually perform a comprehensive market research before they actually design and construct a product. Usually, the results of these researches are imparted to the marketing leaders, with the intention that they are passed on to every salesperson they have in force. They want these selling points to be promoted to the customers. It all depends upon you, the salesperson, to put the product’s innate selling points out in the limelight. Remember to stress out the benefits (protects against all impurities, more compact, etc.) more than the features (made of durable plastic, removable filter, etc.)
How to Build Your Customer’s Interest
To keep excitement in the air, you have to keep your customers guessing. Your promotional materials should leave customers with an atmosphere of interest enough to make them asking for more. Give them something they haven’t heard of before. And surely, they would give your product a second look. This is all you need to fully launch that well prepared and well thought of speech you have prepared.
Interest is something you want to trigger in your customer. Interest can do wonders. It could create a buzz about your product. It can entice more customers to check out what it is you are selling. Most importantly, it can make your customers buy, if only to check out if what they heard about the product is true. If you can keep your customer’s interest brewing, then you are on the right track. You just have to make sure that you follow it up with the right sales talk and the right promotional attack. Otherwise, the work you did to generate interest will just go into waste.
How to Arouse Your Customer’s Desire
More often than not, desire is aroused by beauty, appeal, and attractiveness. Functionality and features usually come second. So in essence, you work to stimulate your customer’s desire, first through the physical attributes of your products. Its features and capabilities come second.
This may look too easy but aesthetics is not a simple science. Aesthetics is rather vague and is very general. The old adage still holds true – beauty depends on the person who appreciates it. You have to keep in mind who your customers are and what their preferences might be, before you can appeal to their senses. This is especially hard if you do not have any control over your product’s aesthetic abilities and you are just selling it. But we can get to that later. First, here are the different channels of attraction and how you can use them to present your product to arouse your customers’ desire to buy.
The first step is to appeal to the eyes. Consumers want a product that looks good visually. Again, this is why companies are investing so much in remodeling and repackaging their products just to look new and trendy. Never mind the features. They can improve on that later, or maybe never. Some companies just opt to create an entirely different model of the product instead of adding good features to it. Repackaging is always costly. But a lot do it anyway.
If there’s any music or sounds associated with your product and it is very engaging, capitalize on it. Let the music arouse desire. Music and sounds have the innate ability to do that. There might be times that you went walking in the mall and you heard your favorite song play somewhere. Do you remember how you stopped and just listened? You might have even walked right into the store just to enjoy the music. Music can relay a message of your product. Music uses the power of words and the melody of a good tune. That’s why songs and jingles are always created and used in television commercials. People love to hear a good harmony. And that’s one reason why the music industry is always flourishing.
The Sense of Smell
What is your first reaction when you are walking in a busy street and somebody with your favorite cologne walked right past you? You intend to look at the direction of the person, no matter how far away he may be. You might even search for his face in the crowd. Some people would even stop and savor the scent. Whichever your reaction is, the point is clearly stated. You simply can’t resist the allure of a good smell. Whether it is the smell of somebody’s cooking or the fragrance of your favorite perfume, you tend to turn your head even without meaning to. And that effect is something you would like to achieve for your products.
The Sense of Taste
This one is for products that have something to do with eating or ingesting. It could be food products, drinks, or even medicines. If it has to go through the mouth, you have to make sure it tastes good. And yes, that goes true even for medicines. This is something basic. You won’t sell a chocolate bar that doesn’t taste sweet, right? Therefore, if you have to sell food, you have to make sure eating it will become your taste bud's enjoyment. People like to try something new every now and then. Most of them are tired with the usual taste of the food they eat. This is the reason why companies are coming out with an orange, cherry, or apple flavors of their products. You don’t want to eat plain Jell-O’s every morning for the rest of your life, right? Or wheat grain cereals. Or plain fruit jellies. People like some variants. So benefit from that.
The Sense of Touch
The sense of touch is almost as important as the sense of sight. Your product, more often than not, can surely be touched, be felt, and be experienced by your customers. Touch applies to almost everything: shoes, clothes, equipments, furniture, appliances, and vehicles – the list goes on. And how it should feel will depend entirely as to what product you are selling. If you have furniture, a smooth and sleek design is an advantage. But if you are selling sports equipment, the handles have to be ribbed for better handling. It also has to be light and durable, especially if it’s something like a tennis racket. It’s a different story though if what you are selling is a golf club. The idea here is very simple. Make sure that your product brings comfort, even if it is used for an entirely different purpose.
These are the ways on how you can appeal to your customer’s senses.
But what if you are still considered as a low-level sales person and you do not have any control of the product’s aesthetic abilities? Well then, since you can't be changing your products, change the way you present your products. Answer these questions:
What are the selling points of your product?
Of them all, which do you think is the most significant?
How can you promote this particular selling point?
Using which senses are you going to endorse the product best?
Can you combine two or more senses together to achieve optimum results?
Are you creative enough to appeal to all of a person's senses?
Your choice of approach, of endorsement, or of advertisement is going to count a lot. Use the right one. Better yet, be imaginative enough to create your own. Make your own market plan. Make your own commercials, posters, and other attention-grabbing materials whenever you can. It may mean extra work, but it would surely take you closer to your goal.
How to Goad Your Customers into Action
Now this is the meat of the matter. When we are talking about action, we mean buying. And buying is the main goal of every sales deal. It is what every salesperson aims to get. The million-dollar question comes into surface: How then, can you make a customer buy?
After going through the steps listed in this book, you should have learned about product presentation, quality, appeal, customer’s objections, and the salesman qualities. All these are taught with only one intention – that you successfully get into your customers’ heads and goad them into action.
Selling is a very psychological thing. A good product won’t necessarily sell without an equally good salesperson behind it. Try it. Let's do some role-playing. Get your products on the frontline and act not as an enthusiastic salesperson but as an indifferent vendor. Act like somebody who gets paid by the hour without commissions. That means you will get your salary after working hours no matter how few or how many items you have sold. See if you are going to achieve your day’s goal.
Now act like a very aggressive salesperson and take what you think is your worst product. Maybe for research, you can even select a brand or a commodity that you think is a big junk. Sell it passionately, following everything taught in this report. See if you had sold more products acting like this compared to when you are acting like the uninterested salesperson.
This is the first point you have to know. Selling is not entirely about your product. Your product won’t sell on its own. That is the very reason why your boss hired you in the first place. He knows it. You should know it too. Be reminded of this one thing: Before you can sell anything, you have to sell yourself first. This is why you are taught the qualities of a good salesperson earlier. The moment you speak to your customer about your product is the moment your customer maybe doing his best trying to trust you. If he finds that very hard to do, you are in big trouble.
The second point: Not all customers buy impulsively. You might be lucky to meet more than one compulsive customer in a day. So don’t gripe if the customer lets you talk for five whole hours only to leave the store without making a single purchase. This happens; and it does quite often, actually. So you have to know your plan of attack each time you face your customer. If he is a new customer, don’t come on too strong. Again, customers do not like to be pushed around and feel ensnared.
The third point: Keep your customer interested. Getting your customer’s attention is not enough. You have to keep the water flowing, so to speak. You have to capture their interest and sustain it. But do it in such a way that it doesn’t look as though you are going to some extreme heights just to sell to them. Customers know when you are making conversation and when you are making a sales pitch for them to buy. It is your job to keep them interested. And when their interest is at its peak, move in to close the deal. That should be the time when they are more than willing to take out their wallets right then and make the purchase.
The last and main point: Let your customer know your intentions. Make it clear to them that you wanted them to buy your product, get an insurance plan, to sign up for a loan, to purchase a warranty card, or anything else you might want them to do. Calling them to action is not enough. They have to know what the real action is, what they are supposed to do. And be prepared for that. Don’t be too engrossed in your sales pitch that you are forgetting little details (like the customer has to have several identification cards to go with the purchase or other trivial things like that). Assess your customer while you are talking to them. Determine what they need to do and make them want to do it. Now that's the best salesperson in action!
To guide you further in your selling, here are four almost magical selling techniques that you can use to your advantage:
The Reciprocity Technique
Capitalize on people’s tendency to reciprocate good thoughts and efforts. Whenever you give or do something nice to others, people are always obligated to return the favor. As a seller, give your customers holiday and greeting cards during special occasions. They will appreciate it and will buy again from you in the future. The same principle applies when you give samples or trial offers. They might buy your product just for the sake of reciprocity!
The Contrast Technique
Many people in today’s world shop with a budget in mind. With the current economy, it doesn’t pay to be spendthrift. To overcome this obstacle (in case your product has a higher price), show your prospective customer the super value they can get from your product in contrast to your competitors’ (which could be priced lower). Let them realize and feel the tremendous quality they are getting in exchange for a few dollars more.
The Herd Technique
Most people like to belong to a group. They want to do what the rest of humankind is doing, so they can feel a sense of belonging. In restaurants, they may apply this principle by giving free foods and large discounts to their customers. If people see that there are many people inside a diner, they wouldn’t hesitate to go inside themselves. The same is true with discos and bars. Long lines are an indication that people enjoy going and hanging out at that place.
The Consistency Technique
Try to find out what your customers’ preferences are. Ask them if they value quality over price. If they say “yes,” that’s your cue to ask them if they are willing to buy your product if it has a lot more useful features than others. People like to be consistent with their values and beliefs. And to stay consistent, they are most likely going to buy your product to prove that they indeed value quality over price.
Use these selling techniques and you will surely get your customer buying with lesser efforts and skill required!