The One Thing You Really Sell

Can you tell me what you sell in a short but powerful way? You better learn how.

In these days of “global marketplaces,” mission statements, techojargon, and legalese, salespeople too often get caught up explaining the entire scope of their product or service. This confuses buyers.

Buyers want simplicity. They want the bottom-line. Some may enjoy the stories behind the vendors they work with and the products and services they offer. But only if they sense a key benefit first – a powerful, impactful statement about what’s ultimately in it for them.

Think about the single most important benefit or message you can send buyers or their companies, and weave that into your cold calls, your introductory statements in face-to-face meetings, and in your marketing materials.

What It Is Not.

The one thing you sell is not a bland statement about “quality products and services.” It’s not a commentary about “the strength of our people.” It’s not simply the “first” or the “best” or the “most innovative.” The one thing you sell is not the same thing everyone else sells in your industry. And it’s absolutely not “increased productivity, reduced costs.”

It’s not the same features and benefits your competitors offer. And it’s not, unfortunately, the first thing that will come to your mind when wanting to describe what you do to help people.

What It Is.

The one thing you sell is an offer or message you send that either cannot be matched or guaranteed by competitors. It’s what you do that no one else can or will. It’s what you offer them in tangible and intangible results that cannot be found elsewhere.

The one thing you sell is memorable. It makes people stop to think for a moment. It generates an emotional reaction of some kind. It establishes an instant apples and oranges chart in the buyer’s mind. It builds want. It sets you apart, genuinely. And it’s short and to the point. It’s simple.

Examples Here are a few examples of what I would consider strong “one thing” messages, with my comments in parentheses.

37Signals: “Simple software to help you get organized.” (Amazingly, almost no software makers tout their software as simple. Most would hate for that word to apply-for fear that people would translate “simple” as feature-less.)

Guerrilla Marketing: “…investing energy instead of money.” (When you think “marketing,” you think spending money. Guerrilla Marketing tactics are lower cost, higher impact.)

Ebay: “Whatever it is, you can get it here.” (Does it get more direct than that?) “Getting stuff done in 10 quick steps.” (Hard to find something at this website you don’t want to learn how to do faster…)

Secret deodorant: “Strong enough for a man, made for a woman.” (Remember this one?)

Then there are companies that no longer communicate a short, brief sentence because they have become synonymous with the one thing they sell:

Under Armour: Performance apparel made for the pros, available to the masses.

Google: Search for anything, find what you want instantly.

Nike ID: Build your own custom Nike shoes? Way too cool.

So, here’s the thing. You need to figure out what you can do to OWN your industry. What can you offer your prospective customers that they cannot refuse? What can you say that can’t be ignored?

Figure out and communicate your one thing and you’re multiple steps ahead in the game of sales.