How to sell more products – by thinking differently about your business
by Tom Dougherty
From the beginnings of business most of us have thought about business in terms of the products we sell. You too are used to thinking of your business like this. This is because most businesses typically originate out of someone having an idea for a product one can sell, and building a business to do exactly that.
It remains true to form that we often continue thinking about things the way we first experience them. This way of thinking about your business makes you focus on pushing your products out the door at your customers – to get more revenues. As a form of positive reinforcement, we recognize that almost everyone thinks about business this way, so it seems obvious that this is the right way to think about your business. Why then should you consider an alternative way to think about your business?
An alternative way to think about business is needed for two reasons: • Firstly, it is much more difficult to develop competitive advantage for your products, and to sell more of them than your competitors can, if you are thinking much the same way your competitors think. • Secondly, this conventional way of thinking about your business puts the burden of selling more of your products entirely on your own resources, i.e., your efforts, and investments.
A Better Way
Changes have occurred in branding. When looking for a new way to think about your business, it is smarter to apply a principle that increases your chances of success. A promising principle is to use resources other than your own — toward selling more of your products. This way, at a very minimum, less of your own resources will be needed to sell the same amount of your products. Likewise, at maximum, leveraging both your full investment plus the external resources, you can sell even more of your product. However, are there any such external resources out there? If so, what are they and where might they be found?
Harness the Current
There are powerful dynamics already operating in the marketplace and that can be harnessed toward selling more of your products. These dynamics are motivations that already exist in the hearts and minds of your customers, namely, their preexisting desires and aspirations, and their preexisting fears and aversions. It might be as simple as a yearning to be famous, an aspiration to be successful, a fear of failure, or an aversion to being lonely.
There are many of these motivations in the target customer for each of your products, and some of these are so extremely powerful that these customers might even be obsessive about them. The new way that you can think about business is based on making the most of preexisting motivations in the marketplace. Better still, these more powerful motivations can be put to work for your business — and this means the less effort and investment you will need to accomplish the same levels of sales of your products.
So, how do you think about your businesses in a different way that no longer regards your products at the center of your business? You do it by focusing on harnessing the motivations, (i.e., the desires and aspirations, and the fears and aversions) in the minds and hearts of customers. In this way, you shift the location of the propulsive core of your business, from its prevailing location at the center of your business — to a new location outside your business, i.e., in the hearts and minds of customers.
Sell More Products
Once you are able to step out of the product box, and can see the driver of your business OUTSIDE it — in the hearts and minds of customers, the question becomes: how can you get the most out of this driver — how can you get the most propulsive power for your business, from these desires and aspirations, these fears and aversions. This depends upon your products. Your products have to be optimally aligned to these drivers — these motivations out there in the hearts and minds of your customers. Each product may not be able to contribute to several of the desires and aspirations, or against several of the fears and aversions.
Nevertheless, it is very likely that each product can contribute to at least one or more desires or aspirations, or against one or more fears or aversions. Aligning each of your products optimally with the motivations out there, involves isolating the one aspiration, or desire, or fear or aversion that packs a bigger wallop than all the other motivation in the hearts and minds of customers — for each product. These motivations will become the power drivers of your business.
These “motivational dynamics” will become the brand positionings of your products, and you will promote your products as contributing to the fulfillment of, in case of your customers’ desires or aspirations, or to the prevention/avoidance of, in the case of the subjects of their fears or aversions.
Chances are that your competition is still thinking in the product box, and is promoting this product-capability or that product benefit. While these can be “interesting” to customers, they do not intrinsically possess any emotional charge, therefore, you will be way ahead of them with your new customer motivation-based positioning, that adds external power to your own efforts and investments to sell more of your products and react to changes in branding.