If you never take a look at the Harvard Business Review Blog Network (HBR), you really should. I came across a post written by Alex Goldfayn on “Six Marketing Mistakes at CES 2012.” For those of you not familiar with CES, it’s the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas Nevada each January. You can check out the blog post in the link provided below, but what fascinated me is Goldfayn’s opinion on the “technical” aspects of pitching to sell a product.
Many businesses who sell electronics, automobiles and even accountants and attorneys will pitch their products or services in a way the average consumer doesn’t understand. Ever go car shopping and have the salesperson tell you all about the horsepower and engine cylinders when what you really want to know is the features, price, gas mileage and cost to own? Or, ever go to an electronics store looking for a new laptop and the sales staff are only interested in talking about hard drive sizes, storage capabilities and power? Even a first meeting with an accountant or an attorney can leave the layman lost if the right terminology isn’t utilized.
While many of us need vehicles, computers, and the services of professionals, if you aren’t pitching your products in a language your potential buyers can understand, you won’t make the sale. Many salespeople and business owners make this common mistake and wonder why their profits aren’t as good as their competitors.
It’s quite simple really if you think about it. For example, I know nothing about buying an HD television and if I went to buy one and the sales guy starting spitting out words like contrast, 1080p and the input/output opportunities, I’d be lost! Talk to me in with words I can understand!
You can also get yourself in trouble if you sell more than one brand and tell customers, “This brand is tops in the field” because if the customer doesn’t know the field, that’s meaningless. I used to own a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealership and I know the Chrysler line of cars includes their luxury line, but many might not know that. Ford’s new Eco-boost power system is great for the environment, but if you don’t explain that and just say the vehicle comes with Ford’s Eco-boost, that also means nothing to the customer. Get the idea?
Glossy brochures full of technical specs are nice, but instead of thinking about making the sale, think about how much more likely you will be able to make that sale if you gain the trust of the customer by speaking their language.
One way to start your journey on your sales pitch is to pick up a book and read the inside jacket cover that describes the book. Book buyers can get a pretty good idea what the book is about and make a decision to buy and read it based on the script written on the jacket.
You can do the same by writing some product scripts using the manufacturer’s brochures—or if it’s your own product or service, write scripts using words anyone can comprehend and “get it” so to speak. Read your scripts to friends or family members, especially those who aren’t familiar with your business or field of service. If they think you need to tweak your scripts, do so!
Further, as a seasoned expert, you’ll be able to spot those who want the “technical” talk so do use it—for the right customers only!
Everyone knows when it comes to selling, you must sell yourself, but you also need to convey and display your products or services in attractive ways keeping the average person in mind.
Make a determined effort to ensure your scripts and pitches are up to speed to avoid this marketing mistake in 2012!