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05 October 2014

What Unlocks The Buyer’s “Value Vault”?

It’s not hard to find inspiration for our Selling Agency blog posts. We’re constantly assessing our every day interactions for the best and most common selling situations that we can learn from or highlight.

This week’s post was a lay up thanks to a couple of guys going door to door.

I pulled in to our driveway one night this past week to see my husband outside and two young guys leaving our drive way carrying a backpack and a big binder going door to door selling a cleaning product—a really tough gig. I asked Husband for a play by play of the encounter—which, he knew I would, so he was prepared.

They approached Husband as he was getting the kids out of the truck, collecting backpacks and herding the children in to the house. They asked him for his time to demonstrate a new cleaning product and out of deference for his wife’s profession, he always says “yes” and listens to sales pitches. {He’s quite a guy!}

This product did a bang up job of cleaning his truck mirror. The guys were passionate in their demonstration and devout in delivering their scripted lines about the features and benefits of their product – including reviewing their playbook pages with checks from our neighbors strategically clipped to the pages.

They looked into our garage and noticed the many shelves of cleaning products and delivered what they may have thought was their closing clincher, “You can replace ALL your other cleaning products with just this one. Imagine never having to buy another cleaning product again!”

To which Husband responded, “Thanks, guys. But I’m not interested.” They politely thanked him for his time and off they went to the next house.

I laughed when I heard their closing line because I have some unique insight to Husband that they did not:

Husband really LIKES buying cleaning products. He likes how different products do different things and have different “clean” smells. He knows the subtlety between the glass cleaners and leather conditioners and disinfectants. He’s put the time, energy and resources into researching what products give him the results he wants.

Replacing all his cleaning products with just one would rob him of something he enjoys, detract from what he appreciates about different cleaners and thus, is NOT of value to him.

The guys made a big ASSUMPTION when they saw all those cleaning products. They guessed wrong.

And, they never asked him any questions. Maybe if they’d asked, “Why do you buy cleaning products” or “What do you want in your cleaning product”—they might have understood why there are shelves full of cleaners in the garage. They might have unlocked his Value Vault and been able to connect their product to what he finds valuable—and added their cleaner to the army of bottles and gallons on our shelves.

But, they didn’t. They didn’t ask him any questions. They made an assumption and it was incorrect.

It’s easy to do—assume people are the same as us, want the same things, like the same things or appreciate the same things as we do. Lumping everyone together is a really common Sales and Marketing mistake made by everyone from big companies down to small business, sales people and employers.

Are you making assumptions about what other people find valuable or what they want in their product, service or experience of you?

Next time you have the opportunity to persuade someone to “buy” you or your product, service or skill, ask them questions about what they Value first. Don’t make those costly assumptions. You could be wrong!

Until next time, keep kickin’ butt!

-sks