“Albatross! Gannet on a stick!” – John Cleese, Monty Python.
What are you selling?
What do you sell on a day to day basis? If you say nothing, you’re probably wrong. If you say anything else you’re probably still wrong, unless you already know what I’m about to say. (In which case, feel free to hop in on the comments and leave some tips.)
It doesn’t matter if you have your own business, you’re self-employed, a contractor or an employee. You’re selling something to someone, and it’s not what you think.
Think about what it is that you provide, what it is you’re paid for then follow it through to the benefits, and from the benefits to the positive change in the recipient. That’s really what is being sold.
If you’re in finance, you’re selling security and protection (I hope!). Training courses aren’t about what they teach, they’re about the life-changes they bring about in the students.
Yeah, maybe I believe you. So what?
Once you know what you’re really selling you can sell it better.
If you’re looking for a job: figure out what the person hiring needs and sell it to them. It’s probably not a cashier, or an illustrator, or a health and safety manager. They want to be sold reliability, inspiration or a good night’s sleep.
If you have a product you’re selling you might already focus on the benefits rather than the features, but what comes next after the benefits? That’s the bit you’re selling, even if neither you nor the buyer knows it.
In our everyday lives we’re always selling and buying; time is a precious resource we spend on every conversation, movie, webinar, or blog post we indulge in. Know what you’re selling ahead of time and make it easier on everyone.