Posted by Eric Ungs

What are you really selling?

Photo courtesy of mrkittycatguy

This weekend I started reading “Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide” by John Jantsch (amazon link). He also has a very informative blog and podcast.

I am currently a little over half way through and right off the bat, 30 pages in, he poses a question that I couldn’t get out of my mind. I stopped, pondered and grabbed an old fashion pen and paper and started writing.

This question is an important aspect in forming a solid marketing plan and doing any type of loyal business. The way you answer is even more crucial.

What are you really selling?

Answering this question correctly is the first step in setting your business apart from your competition. It’s what encourages repeat business and referrals. It’s what creates a trusting and well-respected relationship between seller and buyer.

Most will answer this question with some kind of product or service, some kind of physicality. But that’s not the case at all. As a business owner you need to dig deep and do some soul-searching in what it really is that consumers are purchasing from you.

As a Realtor, for example, your answer shouldn’t be just homes. What you are really selling are memories, neighborhoods, sense of security, pride, new chapters, new beginnings, 4th of July barbecues on the back deck, snow forts in the front yard, etc.

Once you are able to communicate to the buyers what they’re really buying (and disclosing what’s in it for them) then your service becomes unique.

Tom Peters quotes the Harley Davidson executive who said: “What we sell is the ability for a 43-year-old accountant to dress in black leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of him.” They don’t sell motorcycles.

So, what are you really selling?

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